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July 26, 2021

Engineers are creating concrete pavement that wirelessly charges electric cars

It’s the stuff of science fiction. Imagine driving down the road, and your electric car automatically charges. You don’t have to stop. You don’t have to get out of the car. Nothing. 

Well, this dream could soon be a reality. At least, it may soon be a reality in Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Purdue University, and German startup Magment GmbH have all joined forces to create a system that wireless charges electric vehicles as they drive. Ultimately, the idea is to develop the world’s first wireless charging concrete pavement. 

In the press release, the teams note that the project will progress in three primary stages.

The two first phases will involve various forms of pavement testing and analysis and optimization research. This work will ultimately be conducted by the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Once these stages are complete, a third phase will see INDOT construct a test site that is at least a quarter-mile-long. Here, the team will test the concrete’s capacity to charge heavy trucks operating at high power (200 kilowatts and above).

However, the specific location for this testbed has yet to be determined.

Once all these phases have been successfully completed, INDOT will proceed to use the new technology, which was built and refined during the aforementioned trials, to electrify a yet to be determined segment of an interstate highway within Indiana.

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

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