EV Trends

4 Case Studies Showing the Acceleration of Wireless EV Charging

May 28, 2024

Wireless charging is about to go large — and the EV charging industry with it. No longer only for phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, wireless EV charging has sprung out of the gate as a major player in the EV space.

With a projected global worth of $825 million by 2027, wireless EV charging looks to be the wave of the future. If you’re a player in the EV charging industry, you need to explore a few wireless EV charging case studies to discover how you and your team can use this information to advance your own EV infrastructure business.

Image via Freepik

New Florida State Road 516 Stretch Launches with Built-in EV Wireless Charging

Although it’s not quite ready for prime time, Florida State Road 516 is an EV driver’s dream come true. Equipped with wireless charging coils, the new toll road will be able to charge wireless-enabled electric vehicles as they speed down the highway.

What sets this project apart from the handful of similar highways around the world is its initial design. Unlike other roads that enable EV wireless charging, Florida State Road 516 has EV charging capabilities built-in from the ground up, as opposed to retrofitting existing roads.

The road, designed by Norwegian wireless energy company ENRX, will use solar panels to generate electricity to power the cars driving down the nearly five-mile stretch. Since the road traverses a wildlife-rich area, the construction will include an underpass for migrating animals. Plants and no-mow ground covers native to Florida will line the road, while an adjoining trail will accommodate hikers.

Wireless on-road EV charging depends on embedding wire coils emitting electromagnetic energy into the pavement. To use the charging system, EVs must have special receiver plates capable of tapping into the electromagnetic energy and transferring it into their batteries.

The road should be ready for use by late 2027. It will feature variable power capable of charging both heavy-duty trucks and small cars alike.

Detroit’s Electric Quarter Mile Is First in the US

It’s only a quarter of a mile, but it’s a light-year leap in technology for EV drivers passing through Detroit. Mind you, it’s not the stretch of road itself but rather the promise it holds for the future of EVs in the US that makes it such a stunning development. If this technology works for a quarter of a mile, imagine what it could do at scale.

Like many major cities, Detroit has converted some of its public transportation fleets to electric vehicles to cut down on air pollution and save the cash-strapped metropolis some money on fuel. However, Detroit took that move a step further. The city partnered with a local utility and the state of Michigan to provide its EV buses with a functional wireless EV charging system embedded in the pavement on historic 14th Street.

To construct the wireless charging system, the partnership hired the Israeli technology company Electreon. With a broad range of experience in building such roads in its native country and elsewhere in the world, Electreon held the edge for the job.

A short two years after its beginning, the system debuted in late 2023. It features copper coils hidden beneath the street surface, with only dots to indicate their presence. These coils create a magnetic field, which transfers electrical energy to specially equipped vehicles’ batteries in a process called inductive coupling.

The coils only activate in the presence of a receiver, making the pavement safe for humans and pets alike. The system works no matter what the weather, a must-have in snowy Michigan.

Although functional, the system is still under testing. The city plans to make it available to motorists other than the transit buses in about a year.

Milton Keynes Borough Goes Electric in the UK

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ten years ago, “a free-market collaboration, led by eFleet Integrated Services (eFIS),” approached the UK’s Milton Keynes Borough Council with a proposal to test an all-electric bus fleet for this Shires community. The council jumped on the opportunity since it would make them the world’s first city to provide residents with an all-electric fleet.

However, the high-tech proposal didn’t stop there. Instead of opting for the usual EV charging protocol — plugging in the buses to chargers when they arrive at the end of the day — eFIS designed the system to charge the buses while they were on the road.

At the end of each route, eFIS installed charging plates on the pavement. Bus drivers park the bus on the plates, allowing their buses to charge directly. Buses can then run all day, extending their range and saving the time drivers might otherwise spend pulling up to a charger and plugging in.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Although the city keeps a small fleet of diesel buses on reserve in case of a glitch in the system, it rarely needed to deploy a plan B. Customers were quick to get on board with the plan, praising the EV buses for their seamless service — and their quiet ride.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Boosts Wireless EV Charging Speed

Since urban bus fleets don’t require the range of most passenger vehicles, they can get by with only 10 minutes of charging. Most EV owners, though, want a seamless experience that gets them back on the road — fast — with a full charge.

Enter the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Scientists there, usually tasked with top-secret technological developments, have created a breakthrough in EV wireless charging speed, exceeding Volvo’s 40 kW power transfer by 60 kW — a 100 kW output that rivals the speed of today’s plug-in DC fast chargers.

For busy EV owners, that’s a game-changer. No longer will they need to get out of their cars when this technology exits the lab onto Main Street. No more clunky cables to pull out and plug in. Just pull up to the charging plate, charge up, and go.

Explore More Leading-Edge Technologies at the Next EV Charging Summit Event

With customer service and convenience ever front of mind in practically every sector, wireless EV charging will likely become the wave of the future, should this technology make it to market. Think of the leap in EV adoption that will likely occur when charging your car will be as easy as charging your phone.

Wireless charging is only one of the leading-edge EV charging technologies you’ll encounter at the next EV Charging Summit event. Don’t miss the latest developments. Reserve your spot today!

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