Why plug in your car when you could charge it wirelessly, while driving?

Israeli start-up ElectReon is enabling the next stage of EV evolution by developing roads that charge a car’s battery while it drives

 Electreon's technology rests only a few centimeters under a road's asphalt, and can be installed nearly anywhere. (photo credit: ELECTREON WIRELESS)
Electreon's technology rests only a few centimeters under a road's asphalt, and can be installed nearly anywhere.
(photo credit: ELECTREON WIRELESS)

The fear that an electric vehicle’s battery will run out of juice halfway through a trip has been enough to keep more than a few prospective EV owners away from the next step in the motor carriage’s evolution. The likeliest solution to that problem is the installation of more charging stations in more places — but could it be that there’s a more innovative answer?

Israeli start-up Electreon Wireless has developed wireless charging road technology. Similar to the tech found in many modern smartphones, it enables compatible vehicles to recharge without the need to plug into an outlet — unlike many modern smartphones, though, your car would be able to do this at 85km/h.

At present, the company is working with the Transportation and Energy ministries and the Dan and Afikim bus companies in order to deploy installations of electric roads at bus terminals in Tel Aviv and Rosh Ha'Ayin, which it hopes will open the door to further installations throughout those cities.

The company is also in the early stages of implementation in Europe, including the upcoming installation of a stretch of charging road on the German Audubon. Other installations are planned in Italy, Sweden and the United States.

The benefits of wireless charging

“Our goal is to pave it all over. Of course, we will start with terminals and main roads for buses, but the end goal is to pave it almost everywhere, and to be able to charge all types of vehicles.”

Oren Ezer

According to Oren Ezer, Electreon’s CEO and co-founder, the company aims to eventually implement its technology wherever possible. “Our goal is to pave it all over. Of course, we will start with terminals and main roads for buses, but the end goal is to pave it almost everywhere, and to be able to charge all types of vehicles.”

 Oren Ezer, Electreon’s CEO and co-founder. (credit: NIR SLAKMAN) Oren Ezer, Electreon’s CEO and co-founder. (credit: NIR SLAKMAN)

The company argues that charging roads would reduce operating costs, travel range anxiety, and could even lead to a significant reduction of manufacturing resources, as EV manufacturers could feasibly get away with using smaller batteries in their latest models.

“Today, the battery is half the cost of [an electric] car, and it makes up a third of the car’s weight. It's not efficient, and it's not sustainable,” Ezer said. “Once you have wireless charging, it means that you can solve the main barrier for electric vehicles of today. It's going to change the industry.”