Crain’s Detroit Business
Sept. 21, 2022
The Michigan Department of Transportation and Israeli startup Electreon are partnering to develop the nation’s first scalable wireless public in-road charging network for electric vehicles.
Under the five-year agreement, MDOT and Electreon will research the cost and benefit of large-scale electrification of the transportation sector, according to a news release from MDOT.
They will analyze potential business models for electric road systems to bring in revenue for the state and as an alternative to fleet operators. Public transit agencies will also be a part of the conversation to ensure widespread accessibility, according to the release. Reduction of pollution will also be addressed, especially in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
“This agreement helps solidify Michigan as the U.S. leader in developing and implementing a wireless in-road charging network,” MDOT Director Paul Ajegba said in the release. “We now can work toward better policy and regulatory framework that provides a welcoming environment for this unique technology. Ultimately, the research and work conducted on this project will help lead to large-scale deployment across Michigan and the U.S.”
Earlier this year, the state of Michigan awarded Electreon a contract to build the nation’s first wireless EV-charging road in the heart of Detroit. The one-mile public network charges electric vehicles while stationary or in motion. MDOT is providing $1.9 million for the project that will be built near Michigan Central Station and is slated to open next year.
“Through ongoing collaboration on our Detroit project, MDOT has proven to be innovative leaders in the industry. We’re excited to enter into this agreement to create a blueprint for scaling wireless charging for all EVs across Michigan and the U.S. and look forward to aligning with additional DOTs in the future,” Electreon co-founder and CEO Oren Ezer said in the release.
The company is also partnering with Ford Motor Co., DTE Energy Co. and the city of Detroit on the one-mile charging road. The pilot will serve as a learning opportunity for Electreon and the state, MDOT said.
Electreon did not disclose the project’s total cost or how much it is investing, but the project’s request for proposal required the contract winner to match at least 25 percent of the $1.9 million MDOT is providing, Crain’s previously reported.
Electreon also has EV charging projects in Sweden, Germany, Italy, Israel and Utah.