Building sufficient charging stations in the correct places and having an electric grid that can support trouble-free operation are two major problems for future-proofing EV charging infrastructure. The fear of recharging is the most common cause for people to oppose electric vehicles. The term used is “range anxiety,” which refers to the fear that a vehicle’s energy storage will be insufficient to cover the projected distance to the destination.
As a result, the first-ever wireless charging route for electric vehicles (EV) has opened in the United States, as countries compete to develop new ways to increase EV range. The project in Michigan, which is planned to start next year, will be only one mile long, but if it is effective, this type of charging might allow EVs to drive longer distances without introducing additional batteries, thus increasing the number of people willing to switch from gas-powered vehicles.
The Michigan Department of Transportation’s Michele Mueller tells The Independent that “you’re not going to totally charge a vehicle — especially, you know, this is a minimum of a mile pilot project.”
“However, it will increase the vehicle’s range, allowing someone to avoid stopping.” The road works by utilizing an underground energy infrastructure of charging coils that link to the electrical grid and extend the battery life of electric vehicles as they go over it.
However, you can’t just drive your EV down the road and expect to obtain a charge; it requires a special receiver. According to Stefan Tongur of Electreon, the firm that is installing the length of road in Michigan, when the vehicle drives over coils, the charging mechanism activates, enabling the receiver to catch the energy and transport it to the battery.
He further notes that the receiver can run up a bill and charge the car owner for the electricity. The device does not emit electricity unless a receiver is engaged, according to Dr. Tongur, thus humans and animals crossing the street will not be electrocuted.
Furthermore, because each coil is separately connected to the power grid, if the system is damaged by a pothole or other road breaking, you will only lose a small portion of the charging capacity.
According to Dr. Tongur, the cost per mile is determined by the vehicle and its speed. However, there is still a considerable distance to go — and a bunch of technology towards becoming standard — before this type of system can make a significant difference for most drivers.
For starters, electric vehicles would all require specialized receivers that are not now available as standard equipment. Wireless charging highways, on the other hand, would have to be widespread. Electreon is also testing identical roads in Italy, Germany, Sweden, and Israel, in addition to the Michigan project. Magment, a German corporation, is working on a similar project with Purdue University as well as the state of Indiana.