A 1-mile stretch of road is being built in Detroit that can charge electric cars as they drive — if owners install a special receiver

A 1-mile stretch of road is being built in Detroit that can charge electric cars as they drive — if owners install a special receiver
  • Electreon Wireless is building a mile-long stretch in Detroit that will charge electric cars as the drive on it.
  • The company said the roadway will be fully functional by 2023 for EVs that install a special receiver.

A startup is building the first road in the US that will allow modified electric cars to charge as they drive.

Electreon Wireless, a company based out of Tel Aviv, Israel, is working with Ford and DTE to bring its wireless charging technology to Detroit next year. The company said it has already implemented its infrastructure into roadways in Sweden, Israel, and Italy.

The electrified road will stretch about a mile long and will be located near Detroit's Michigan Central Terminal, an abandoned train station that Ford is converting into its "mobility innovation district." The state of Michigan plans to contribute $1.9 million to the project which Electreon said will be fully functional by 2023.

The roadway will charge electric vehicles whether they're in motion or at a stop through a process called inductive charging, which use a magnetic frequency to transfer power from metal coils that are buried under the road to a special receiver on the underside of the EV. While the road will operate normally for all gas cars and EVs that are not equipped with the receiver, Axios estimates installing the special receiver will cost about $3,000 to $4,000 per car. Though, Electreon told the publication they hope to get the price closer to $1,000 to $1,500.

Ultimately, wireless charging could help ease range anxiety and facilitate mass EV adoption. Charging infrastructure poses a major hurdle for electric-vehicle adoption. Insider's Dominick Reuter previously reported that one in five EV owners has switched back to gas cars because charging represented too much of a "hassle." Data from JD Power in 2021 found that anxiety related to an electric car's battery range is a primary limiting factor in the commercial viability of the vehicles.


"As we aim to lead the future of mobility and electrification by boosting electric vehicle production and lowering consumer costs, a wireless in-road charging system is the next piece to the puzzle for sustainability," Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a press release.

Electreon is one of several companies advertising wireless EV charging options. Insider's Alexa St. John previously reported that the Israeli company is one of six racing to capitalize on a market that could hit $207.5 billion in the next decade.

The concept of wireless EV charging is far from new. In 1986, California tested a wireless charging option with roadway powered cars for its Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) program. In recent years, wireless charging for phones has also seen a push from companies like Apple and Samsung. But, overall, wireless charging efforts have fallen flat as the hardware has proven expensive and often unwieldy.

Insider has previously reported that researchers at Cornell University have been working on making a wireless charging process for US highways that would use electric fields instead of magnetic ones — a switch that lead researcher Khurram Afridi said would make the process cheaper and provide more energy.