The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) of the US state is collaborating with Purdue University to develop a road that can charge you electric vehicles while you drive it. Both entities have signed up for the ASPIRE Initiative (Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification). The collaboration is funded by the National Science Foundation, government laboratories, the educational institution to develop charging solutions and technologies for BEVs.
Indiana State and Purdue are working in collaboration with a German company – Magment who have developed magnetised cement that can be used to develop roads that can wirelessly charge battery electric vehicles. The claims are that the tarmac on the highway will be able to wirelessly charge electric vehicles as they drive along on the road.
Magment’s official site states that the concrete mixture is filled with magnetic particles. It claims that it features wireless transmission efficiency of up to 95%. It goes on to claim that it accepts universal charging, works in all weather conditions, offers high thermal conductivity and importantly, is vandalism proof.
It is being said that the first phase will see the team from Purdue conducting tests, run analysis and research to optimise the technology in the laboratory this year in the summer. It will be done to ensure usability and viability of the infrastructure
If the universities research proves to be a viable option, the Indiana Department of Transportation will commission a quarter-mile stretch of highway constructed of magment. Should that prove to be a success, the state will implement it further on public roads. The first real-world test to be done by Indiana State will be done of heavy trucks above 200kW in a private stretch before paving it for the public road.
The viability will depend on how successful the wireless charging system can be incorporated into the roads. This is not the first attempt at developing wireless charging roads for battery electric vehicles. Many entities around the world have been working towards it for
That future depends on successfully incorporating wireless charging infrastructure into highways, the state of Indiana is the latest to make the attempt. Development for the technology has been in the works globally for around two decades, in the hopes that if it’s successful, adoption of EV’s could become easier.