LANSING, Mich. - Michigan has finalized a contract to build the country's first wireless charging road system in Detroit, the state announced Tuesday.
The Michigan Department of Transportation awarded the project to Electreon, an electric vehicle solutions firm that will construct a 1-mile stretch of road open to the public and capable of charging battery-powered cars and trucks in real time.
The road where it will be built hasn't been selected yet, the state said. It will be located somewhere in Detroit.
The innovative road will be hosted by Ford inside its Michigan Central Station, which is part of the automaker's mobility innovation district. DTE and the city of Detroit will also be part of the project
"As we aim to lead the future of mobility and electrification by boosting electric vehicle production and lowering consumer costs, a wireless in-road charging system is the next piece to the puzzle for sustainability," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "I am happy to see Michigan lead and keep building on these ground-breaking initiatives creating new business opportunities and high-tech jobs. Together, we will continue growing our economy and putting Michiganders first."
The project is scheduled to be operational in 2023. Whitmer announced the initiative at Motor Bella in 2021.
Once complete, it will enable cars, trucks, and public transit options that carry batteries to recharge without stopping.
The contract represents the state's interest in developing electric vehicle infrastructure. It also showcases just how far facets of the industry are lagging behind the goal of electrifying vehicles as charging stations are still seldom available to drivers.
"We are proud and thankful to be selected by the Michigan Department of Transportation to lead and implement the first wireless electric road system in the United States," said Stefan Tongur, vice president of Electreon. "We're excited to be transferring our success in wireless charging for a variety of electric fleets - from cars to buses and heavy-duty trucks - to this innovative project. There's important work ahead with our partners in Detroit to develop scalable, 'plug-free' charging that will future-proof the city's EV infrastructure."
MDOT will provide $1.9 million in funding for the pilot project. Electreon will provide the remainder.