Israel to Test Roads That Power Moving Vehicles

January 6, 2017

Technology used in smartphones is going to be the energy source of the future for electric cars, according to a new company in Israel.

Israeli startup company Electroad will be retrofitting a public bus route in Tel Aviv with buried coils that will inductively charge electric vehicles. The technology relies on electromagnetic induction, a principle used to charge wireless phones and toothbrushes.

ElectRoad’s CEO Oren Ezer says that while the concept is the same, the technology is different. “Our technology is flexible,” said Ezer. “Only copper and rubber is needed, and deployment is quick and easy. You can retrofit one kilometer of road in just half a day, from night to morning.”

The installation process begins with an asphalt scraper that digs an 8-centimeter-deep trench. A second vehicle installs the wireless energy charging strips and fills the trench back up with asphalt. Smart inverters with real-time communication are installed on the sides of the road. A coil unit attached beneath the electric vehicle receives power transferred over a small 24-centimeter air gap. Radiation is minimized and locally shielded for driver and passenger safety.

The company says the compliant buses will weigh much less and require less energy. ElectRoad says cost savings compared to diesel buses would be half the price.

ElectRoad received a research and innovation grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 and recently completed a program at Capital Nature, an accelerator that focuses on emerging renewable energy in Israel. The startup plans to test their technology on a public bus route in Tel Aviv next year.