The area around Michigan Central Station will change in many ways over the next few years; here's one more. Israeli startup Electreon has been selected to build an in-road wireless charging road system–the first of its kind in the U.S.–near Ford's Michigan Central campus. No word on exactly where it will be yet, but it could be about a mile long.
The pilot program is a partnership between Electreon, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
The road will have both stationary and dynamic wireless EV charging. It will use inductive vehicle charging, allowing the vehicle to charge while in motion. Electreon will lead the design, evaluation, iteration, testing, and implementation of the program. It's slated to be complete in 2023.
Electreon currently has similar pilots running in Germany, Sweden, and Italy. According to a press release, the company "is preparing to execute a recently signed commercial deal to provide a “plug free” charging network for 200 public buses in Tel Aviv, Israel."
“Hosting the first wireless charging road system in the U.S. as part of the open platform we are providing at Michigan Central will serve as a magnet to attract innovators to test on this nationally significant asset joining in the work with Electreon, Next Energy and many others, and also show people the value electrification can create,” said Carolina Pluszczynski, Michigan Central development director. “We are excited to actively work with Electreon and source pilot opportunities with such innovators to leverage the open wireless charging system.”
The transformation of the long-vacant Michigan Central Station by Ford is expected to open next year. The nearby Book Depository will be completed this summer. Ford also built a large parking deck on Bagley and sold it last fall, but they'll still hold the lease. Ford has plans to build another office building, although there hasn't been an official announcement yet.
The auto companies in Detroit are all in on EV right now. Last week, GM announced a major investment in Michigan, with four plants building electric vehicles in Michigan. It's an investment of $7 billion and will create 4,000 jobs.