October 21, 2021
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A new initiative to develop the nation’s first electric vehicle or EV wireless charging infrastructure on a public road is gearing up in Michigan – and the Michigan Department of Transportation will play a critical role in this new project.

[Above photo of Governor Whitmer via the Michigan Governor’s Office]

The Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Transportation and the state’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification that plans to deploy an electrified roadway system that would allow electric-powered buses, shuttles, and personal vehicles to recharge their battery systems while driving – enabling EVs to operate continuously without stopping to recharge.

Photo via the Michigan Governor’s Office

Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) (at right) noted that the development of a “wireless dynamic charging roadway” would help address range anxiety among EV users while accelerating the transition to all-electric transit fleets in Michigan and beyond.

“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,” the governor said in a statement. “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.”

[Editor’s note: The governor also concurrently launched two other initiatives – the Lake Michigan EV Circuit and the Michigan Revolution for the Electrification of Vehicles or “MiREV” – to continue advancing Michigan’s EV and mobility landscape by building out critical charging infrastructure in the state and ensuring the strong pipeline of talent needed for automotive mobility and electrification career pathways.]

Paul Ajegba

“We know the future of mobility involves connectivity and this initiative dovetails nicely with our other successes linking vehicles and infrastructure through technology,” added Paul Ajegba, director of the Michigan DOT. “This is a model we will build on across the state to further promote the governor’s broad and ambitious vision.”

The Michigan DOT plans release a Request for Proposal on September 28 to implement the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot along a one-mile stretch of state-operated roadway in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties. The winning firm will then work closely with the Michigan DOT, the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy on this project.

Michigan DOT added that, to date, it has activated the largest vehicle-to-infrastructure technology deployment – nearly 600 miles – in the United States, including a first-of-its-kind connected and autonomous vehicle or “CAV corridor.” The agency also noted that Michigan is also home to a diverse collection of automated vehicle and drone testing environments.

editor@aashto.org

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