The state of Michigan has unveiled a first of its kind wireless charging pilot program in the US, one of two key announcements to improve EV charging infrastructure.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer last week announced what will be the first wireless charging infrastructure on a public road in the US, in conjunction with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, and it will aim to deploy an electrified roadway system that would make it possible for vehicles to charge while driving.
No specific technology was promised, but the Michigan Department of Transportation has released a Request for Proposal to design, fund, evaluate, iterate, test, and implement such a wireless charging network along a one-mile stretch of state-operated roadway.
“Michigan was home to the first mile of paved road, and now we’re paving the way for the roads of tomorrow with innovative infrastructure that will support the economy and the environment, helping us achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Whitmer.
“This project reinforces my commitment to accelerating the deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure in Michigan and will create new opportunities for businesses and high-tech jobs amidst the transition to electric vehicles.”
In addition to the proposed strip of wireless charging road, Governor Whitmer also announced an expansion to the Lake Michigan EV Circuit, an electric vehicle route around Lake Michigan, one of the five North American Great Lakes.
Not only will the expanded EV charging options support the local tourism industry, it will also provide reliable charging options to key coastal and rural communities, state and national parks, and a wider EV infrastructure network.
New charging sites along the Lake Michigan EV Circuit will include wither DC fast charging or level 2 chargers, depending on the electrical infrastructure available, with up to $US1.25 million in funding in grants initially available.
“Michigan put the world on wheels,” said Liesl Clark, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). “Now we are making those wheels more sustainable, less polluting.”