Engineers to develop wireless EV charging concrete highway

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Purdue University, and German startup Magment GmbH have announced the plans to develop the world’s first contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment. The project will use innovative magnetizable concrete, enabling wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.

The project will progress in three primary stages. The two first phases will feature pavement testing, analysis, and optimization research conducted by the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. In the third phase, INDOT will construct a quarter-mile-long testbed at a location yet to be determined. There, the engineers will test the innovative concrete’s capacity to charge heavy trucks operation at high power (200 kilowatts and above).

Once the testing of all three phases has been successfully completed, INDOT will use the new technology to electrify a yet-to-be-determined segment of the interstate highway within Indiana.

The field of transportation is in the midst of a transformation not experienced since the invention of the automobile,” Nadia Gkritza, Professor of Civil Engineering and Agricultural and Biological Engineering and ASPIRE Campus Director at Purdue University, said. “Through this research, we envision opportunities to reduce emissions and near-road exposures to pollutants, coupled with other transportation innovations in shared mobility and automation that will shape data-driven policies encouraging advances.”

This project is a real step forward towards the future of dynamic wireless charging,” said Mauricio Esguerra, CEO of Magment, “that will undoubtedly set the standard for affordable, sustainable, and efficient transportation electrification.

The project is expected to begin later this summer. However, it still remains unclear what kind of techniques the engineers plan to use to generate enough energy for electric power vehicles, as not much information has been provided about the project at this time. But one thing is for sure, the new technology, it succeeds, will be revolutionary.

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