Israeli start-up ElectReon Wireless charging vehicles while driving

“We all know that electric mobility is the best way to solve CO2 emissions and pollution for mobility, but today, it’s constrained by batteries,” Noam Ilan, VP of Business Development at ElectReon

A vehicle powered by ElectReon tech (photo credit: ELECTREON WIRELESS)
A vehicle powered by ElectReon tech
(photo credit: ELECTREON WIRELESS)
Israeli start-up ElectReon Wireless developed a unique solution for charging vehicles while driving on smart roads, without carrying heavy batteries with both a limited driving range and a short lifespan.
“We all know that electric mobility is the best way to solve CO2 emissions and pollution for mobility, but today, it’s constrained by batteries,” Noam Ilan, vice president of business development at ElectReon, told NoCamels. “The development process of batteries is very energy-consuming, so we believe that electric vehicles with minimal batteries [are] the most sustainable environmental solution and also the most cost-effective one, especially when talking about commercial or heavy-duty vehicles.”
According to Ilan, ElectReon’s smart roads are created by placing coils about eight centimeters under the asphalt, which are connected to a management unit that manages the coils. The copper coils transmit wireless energy to receivers under the vehicle, the number of receivers determined by the size and energy consumption of a specific vehicle. This system allows for extended driving ranges as well as smaller capacity batteries, allowing for more passengers and greater efficiency.
“It will provide up to at least 40 percent charging time for each bus, for each route, and then we can decrease the size of the battery from about 400 kilowatt-hours, which is required for 200-kilometer daily travel of the bus, to about 40 kilowatts,” Ilan said.
Its pilot programs are showing encouraging results. The first trial, called Smartroad Gotland, happened in Sweden on a test facility where a 40-ton truck was fully charged wirelessly on an electric road. Through the Sweden tests, the company has been trying to show that its product is ready for commercialization in other parts of the world.
“We got a lot of exposure all around the world because it was the first time that we proved the ability to charge a long-haul truck while driving, and this is actually after the infrastructure was under the asphalt the whole winter, which was one of the requirements of the Swedish government,” Ilan told NoCamels. “This was a very important stage because the next phase in Sweden is a larger, semi-commercial pilot about 30 kilometers,” he added. “In order to be allowed to compete on this pilot, we had to prove that the infrastructure can withstand the winter and that we charged the truck, so for us, it was a very important milestone.”
The next step for ElectReon, in collaboration with both Tel Aviv’s municipality and the Dan Bus Company, is to test a shuffle from Tel Aviv University to the train station that included the deployment of one kilometer of electrified road.
Ilan said that by the beginning of autumn, ElectReon will deploy about 600 meters of road as well as install a static charger in the bus terminal.
“With the demo project, we want to prove the efficiency and the performance of the technology and that we can really give a full solution for buses without any other type of charging,” Ilan said. “And this should lead to the next stage that was announced also by the Ministry of Energy, which is going to be about a 10 kilometers commercial project inside Tel Aviv whose first stage will be used to charge buses.”
Last month, ElectReon raised $50 million that will be used, according to Ilan, to further commercialize the company and enter into new markets in the United States and Latin America, and expand the range of vehicles from buses and heavy-duty trucks to shuttles, taxis, light trucks, vans, and autonomous vehicles.
Looking into the future of gas-powered vehicles, Ilan foresees a ban from many countries that could lead to an emphasis of electric-powered transportation like ElectReon's technology. Israel is aiming for zero new gasoline-powered and diesel vehicles by 2030, whike countries like China and India have also announced a tentative plan to move away from gas-powered vehicles in the next decade.
Ilan said that in about 10 years from now, “autonomous transportation will be more common, and it’s a very natural combination between our solution and autonomous [vehicles] because they can drive 24/7 with very small battery without a driver that will conduct your charging.”