The roads that can charge EVs wirelessly on the go are nothing new, but so far the technology has been relatively expensive and ineffective. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has announced that it is testing a new type of special cement with embedded magnetized particles that could provide high-speed charging with the cost remaining at the same level of construction of a normal road, the Autoblog website reports.
Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Indiana Department of Education worked with Purdue University and the German company Magment. They will carry out the research in three phases, first by testing whether the magnetized cement will work laboratory and then tested on a section of road about 400 meters away.
In a brochure, Magment says its product offers innovative wireless charging performance of up to 95%, adding that it can be built at the typical cost of building a road while resilient and provides protection against vandalism. The company also notes that plates with embedded ferrite particles could be manufactured locally, possibly then taking the corresponding license.
The final phase sounds ambitious, with the Indiana Department saying it will test the ability of innovative concrete to charge heavy trucks at high power, 200 kallowatts or more. If the last piece of testing at 400 meters road is successful, the Department will use the technology to electrify a rundown section of public road in Indiana.
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Charging heavy trucks directly from the road without pollution at an affordable price would be a big environmental step forward, but a lot of work needs to be done to prove it works. Many other similar efforts are underway, as the UK has committed around $780 million to charging research down the road. Sweden has also tested technology in which the road has an electrified rail that will charge electric cars. Magment’s latest effort nonetheless sounds less complicated, as long as it responds to the company’s claims.