Israeli Company to Start Testing Wireless Charging Road

Roads that can charge EVs on the move have long been the holy grail of electric mobility, and now there's a company in Israel called ElectRoad that's going to start testing this technology in the real world.
ElectRoad drawing 1 photo
Photo: ElectRoad
The Israeli government has given ElectRoad permission to test its technology on a half-a-mile stretch of a road in Tel Aviv. The principle is pretty straightforward: copper plates embedded in the asphalt are fed electricity by inverters placed on the side of the road.

Similar copper plates are placed on the underbelly of buses, and thus the vehicles get the power needed to move forward. Well, an auxiliary battery has to be mounted onboard because under heavy acceleration or when going uphill, the power obtained wirelessly isn't enough. Besides, the bus might have to veer off the electrified lane at some points - you know how people double-park inside the city.

The company has gained a $120,000 initial sponsorship which is enough for the short route, but it eventually plans to link the city of Eilat to the Ramon International Airport, which is an 11-mile route. There is no clear calendar for this stage of the process though, and it probably depends heavily on the success of the first testing phase.

But the truth is even if this technology does prove successful, it all signs show it will only be useful for buses or city driving. The changes in infrastructure it requires are simply too great (in spite of what the video claims) to make its implementation possible on a global scale in a reasonable timeframe. And if it's restricted to buses, then it's pretty useless since we already have trolley-buses that serve the same purpose, albeit without the wireless part.

The new holy grail now is reducing the cost of batteries, expanding their capacity and cutting the time needed for recharging as much as possible. However, that doesn't mean other possibilities should not be explored, which is what ElectRoad is doing with its on-the-move wireless charging method.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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