Michigan In A Race To Get The Country’s First ‘Electrified’ Road
It's between us and Indiana, and so far it looks like The Mitten State will be victorious.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced earlier this week that the State of Michigan could get the nation's the first electrified road built. An 'electrified' road is essentially a roadway that would act as a wireless charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Whitmer gave no details on how the technology would work, how soon the pilot project would be operational, or how much it would cost.
Wireless already exist in Norway, and the same technology would be applied here.
Indiana is also working toward the same concept; Scott Manning, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, says their in-pavement wireless charging project was launched in July and is currently being installed at a research facility in West Lafayette. Manning says they expect to start testing on a public roadway within one to two years.
Whitmer says Michigan's electric road would be a one mile stretch of road in either Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties.
The chosen road will be picked to host the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot in Michigan, and Shelby Austin, a public relations official helping with the Whitmer announcement, said Michigan’s request for proposal would jump ahead of Indiana’s plans and go directly to the public road phase.
The announcement was made at Motor Bella, the alternative to the North American Auto Show being held in Pontiac.
"We're rebuilding infrastructure in Michigan. Orange barrels are everywhere. It's important that we're rebuilding, but we're doing it in a resilient way that supports advanced technology," Whitmer told reporters, noting that the wireless charging project is crucial to meeting the needs of fleets.
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