According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana would be the first state to build a section of pavement on the highway that can charge electric vehicles wirelessly.
An ingenious initiative by Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification (ASPIRE) comprises three stages. First, german-made magnetizable concrete would be used in the entire project enabling the wireless charging of electric vehicles as they are on the go.
“We’re quite eager to see this first of its kind project unfold in Indiana,” David Christensen, the ASPIRE Innovation Director, stated. “This partnership that includes Magment, INDOT, Purdue University, and the larger ASPIRE consortium has great promise to really move the needle on technology development, which will, in turn, enable more positive impacts from deeper electric vehicle adoption.”
Indianapolis, the first phase of the project to develop wireless electric vehicle charging pavement on Indiana highways, is expected to start later this summer.
First two phases of the project rely on pavement testing, analysis and optimization research at Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus.
While in the third phase, INDOT will construct a quarter-mile-long testbed where the concrete’s capacity to charge heavy vehicles operating at high power would be assessed. That location is still not specified, though.
After ASPIRE completes all three phases successfully, INDOT will use the technology to electrify a segment of interstate highway in Indiana. The exact location is yet to be decided.
“Indiana is known as the Crossroads of America, and we’re committed to fortifying our position as a transportation leader by innovating to support the emerging vehicle technology,” Gov. Eric Holcomb, R-Indiana, stated in a release. “This partnership to develop wireless charging technology for highways sends a strong signal that Indiana is on the leading edge of delivering the infrastructure needed to support the adoption of electric vehicles.”
INDOT’s commissioner Joe McGuinness, in a statement to WRTV, said that “as electric vehicles become more widely used, demand for reliable, convenient charging infrastructure continues to grow, and the need to innovate is clear.”