Indiana DOT developing wireless electric vehicle charging solution for highway pavements

Project is part of Purdue University's Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification Initiative

July 02, 2021 / 2 minute read
electric vehicle charging solution

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Purdue University this week announced plans to develop the world’s first contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment.

INDOT says the project will use magnetizable concrete—developed by German startup Magment GmbH—enabling wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.

“As electric vehicles become more widely used, demand for reliable, convenient charging infrastructure continues to grow, and the need to innovate is clear,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Purdue and Magment to explore incorporating wireless charging technology into highway infrastructure.”

The project is part of the Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification (ASPIRE) Initiative, an Engineering Research Center funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and involves the collaboration of universities, government laboratories, businesses, and other stakeholders developing next-generation charging technologies for the electrification of transportation vehicles of all classes.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Phases 1 and 2 of the project will feature pavement testing, analysis, and optimization research conducted by the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. In phase 3, INDOT will construct a quarter-mile-long testbed at a location yet to be determined, where engineers will test the innovative concrete’s capacity to charge heavy trucks operation at high power (200 kilowatts and above). Upon successful completion of testing of all three phases, INDOT will use the new technology to electrify a yet to be determined segment of interstate highway within Indiana.

The project will include three phases and is expected to begin later this summer.

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SOURCE: Indiana DOT

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