Wireless charging road in Detroit now open to public

The country's first-ever wireless charging road is now open to drivers - though the charging component of 14th Street won't be available to the public for a little while.

The public EV-charging roadway is one of several innovative projects happening in Detroit and around Michigan that explores different ways to charge cars and increase mobility. 

The street was unveiled in November, being built in Detroit's mobility district, which encompasses Michigan Central Station. It's intended to charge a battery-powered car just by having the vehicle drive on the road.

It does this using specialized coils that were laid below the pavement. For cars to charge, they'll need to be outfitted with a receiver that will be installed on the bottom of the vehicle. When they do, energy will be transferred wirelessly through a magnetic field. 

Currently, it's not available to the public. 


First wireless charging road in U.S. unveiled in Detroit

The quarter-stretch of roadway will be open near Michigan Central Station, where Detroit's mobility district is gathering steam.

It won't stop testing on 14th Street, however. According to a post on Michigan Central's Facebook page, "extensive testing will be performed on the technology to perfect it."

The company behind the project, Electreon, is embedded within Michigan Central's hub and shares the space with dozens of other mobility startups. 

Among plans for broadening access to Electreon's wireless charging technology is to install it under US-12, a project slated to begin soliciting bids in 2024.