The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) installed the state’s first wireless electrified roadway on November 29. The technology functions similarly to a wireless charging pad. The charging coils, powered by the grid, emit energy to receiver plates installed beneath a car or truck. This energy is then transferred to the battery.
This significant achievement resulted from a collaboration between the City of Detroit, MDOT, and Electron, an Israeli company known for developing and providing wireless charging solutions for electric vehicles. The electrified roadway is built into 14th Street in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood, stretching a quarter mile near the Michigan Central building.
Concerned about other vehicles, pedestrians, and wildlife, Electron stated that the technology is safe and only activates when a car equipped with a receiver passes over the coil.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer first mentioned the partnership between Michigan and Electron in September 2021. The governor said the pilot initiative allows the state to have the nation’s first wireless charging infrastructure. Electron and MDOT will collaborate on a five-year plan to develop an electric road system.
Wireless charging technology testing will begin in 2024 with a Ford E-Transit electric commercial van. Staff will assess operational efficiency and long-term public transport opportunities. MDOT hopes to establish Michigan and Detroit as transportation innovation leaders by implementing the technology on other roads in the future.