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Pavement that charges electric vehicles being developed in Indiana

Electric vehicles could soon charge while driving on certain parts of the highway.
Charging stations for electric vehicles
Posted at 3:12 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 15:12:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The first phase of a project to develop wireless electric vehicle charging pavement on Indiana highways is slated to start later this summer.

Indiana will be the first location in the world to create a segment of pavement on the highway that can charge electric vehicles wirelessly, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The three-phase project is part of the Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification (ASPIRE) Initiative. The project will use magnetizable concrete — which is developed by a German startup called Magment GmbH — to enable the wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.

“We’re quite eager to see this first of its kind project unfold in Indiana,” David Christensen, the ASPIRE Innovation Director, stated in a release. “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.”

Phases one and two of the electric charging pavement project will feature pavement testing, analysis and optimization research at Purdue University's West Lafayette campus.

In phase three of the project, INDOT will construct a quarter-mile-long testbed where engineers will test the concrete’s capacity to charge heavy trucks operating at high power (200 kilowatts and above). That location is yet to be determined.

Once ASPIRE has successfully completed all three phases, INDOT will use the technology to electrify a segment of interstate highway in Indiana. That location has yet to be determined.

“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.”

In a statement to WRTV, INDOT's commissioner, Joe McGuinness, stated that "as electric vehicles become more widely used, demand for reliable, convenient charging infrastructure continues to grow, and the need to innovate is clear."