But will this project actually go mainstream?
Part of the reason that some people don't want to embrace electric cars is that they find EVs to be inconvenient. You have long charging times and few chargers. One way to make things a little easier is to find a way of wirelessly charging your EV, which many manufacturers have figured out. For BMW, that means a pad on the floor of your home garage, but the real innovation that many are trying to get right and one that we've been told of many times before is wireless charging on the go. Kia has been working on this since 2018, and Jaguar is trialing the tech with electric taxis, but now the Indiana Department of Transport (INDOT) has announced its plans to build a wireless charging network.
This isn't a novel idea, but it is the first time that a US department of transport has greenlit such a thing. INDOT plans to start with a pilot program that will see a quarter-mile stretch of pavement fitted with embedded wireless charging tech, allowing moving and parked vehicles to charge with ease. Not many details have been released, but reports say that this will be a three-phase project with the first two phases to be completed before any wireless charging infrastructure makes it to the actual road. What we do know is that INDOT is working with Purdue University and a German company called Magment, which produces magnetic cement.
Pardue will run the majority of the first two phases of testing and analysis, which will be made up mostly of research and testing before phase three will see the tech trialed on a public road. As for where this quarter-mile stretch of test road is to be located, a decision has yet to be made. Once that is figured out, INDOT will test Magment's panels specifically for heavy trucks, charging them at 200 kW and above. If this all goes well, a larger section of highway somewhere in Indiana will get the first mainstream rollout, allowing everyday EVs like a Volkswagen ID.4 to someday charge on the go. With no timeline for any of this, it's impossible to say when we might expect to use the tech, but it's encouraging that many different companies are making breakthroughs in the innovation.