While the Philippine government is still in the planning stages of installing plug-in charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in a few locations in the National Capital Region, and Filipinos have yet to embrace EVs as a form of mainstream transport, some parts of the developed world are already installing wireless charging technologies right under the EVs’ figurative noses. Yes, think of EVs as overgrown smartphones with wheels, and imagine them being wirelessly charged by the very roads they’re running on.
The practical technology is already available, and the company responsible for this breakthrough—Israel-based tech firm ElectReon and its shared energy platform—provides wireless charging for EVs on the go, with absolutely no need to stop for charging.
What are the technologies involved? First, the use of “under-road units”, an infrastructure built of copper coils installed under the asphalt. Then, there’s the “management unit” that transfers the energy from the electricity grid to the road infrastructure and manages communication with approaching vehicles. The “vehicle unit”, which represents any compatible EV platform, will have receivers installed on the floor to transmit the energy directly to the engine and the battery while driving. The central control unit (CCU), meantime, operates on a cloud and can communicate with all management units and all registered vehicles.
The advantages for wireless EV charging are aplenty. EVs don’t need to carry humongous batteries. Therefore, EVs can be cheaper, lighter, more efficient, and offer more space for passengers and cargo. Range limits—the perennial deal-breaker for those who would have wanted to own an EV—are virtually eliminated, and the focus would now be on enjoying the drive. There’ll be no more idle time waiting for the EV to be charged, which would also maximize deployment investment. There’ll be no need for charging stations, which in turn would save land resources and visual hazards, and there would be no need for new grid infrastructure and transformer stations. Ultimately, pollution and carbon emissions will be minimized due to electrification. Moreover, it supports distributed renewable energy systems by connecting to multiple renewable energy stations along the routes.
Project Tel Aviv
ElectReon is set to pilot its project in Tel-Aviv in Israel. The project will involve a Dan Transportation urban e-bus shuttle, charged by the first wireless electric road system in that country. The network is a 600-meter long electric road within a 2-km route between the train station and Tel Aviv University, with a complementing static wireless charging station at the terminal to be used by the bus in-between rounds.
In a recent report by New-Tech Europe, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has partnered with ElectReon and Dan Bus Company for the pilot project to install wireless electric roads for charging public transportation in the city.
The pilot project will enable specially equipped electric buses, capable of being charged directly from under-road electric infrastructure, to travel on the route. Following the completion of tests and integration of the technology within approximately two months, a Dan Bus Company electric bus will commence regular journeys on the route, serving passengers travelling to Tel Aviv University.
The execution of the pilot project forms part of a municipal policy attaching great importance to EVs and reducing air pollution in the city. This will be carried out by constructing electric roads to encourage energy independent public transportation; placing EV charging stations in public spaces; and adopting innovative initiatives and technologies in various fields, including transportation.
According to New-Tech Europe report, “The construction of an electric road to charge public transportation vehicles will make Tel Aviv-Yafo the first city worldwide to roll out the technology for charging buses on a wide scale. In doing so, the city will evaluate the possibility of additional electric transportation, including public transportation, distribution trucks, and private and autonomous vehicles. Constructing electric roads in Tel Aviv-Yafo will have a major impact, including improving air quality for the benefit of residents and visitors, to introduce an advanced transportation solution to the world and to place the State of Israel as a global leader in the field.”
Oren Ezer, ElectReon CEO and founding partner, stated, “This is a very important step in the implementation of electric road technology, and we are delighted that the first electrified public route is being established in Tel Aviv—a global leader in the field of innovation and smart transportation. We see this project as the first step of a fruitful collaboration with the municipality, Transportation Ministry, Dan and Pandan—the importer of Higer buses to Israel. We thank the Israel Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Energy for their support with this project. The pilot will be a display window to the world, showcasing the ability to charge urban public transportation. This is alongside a project in Sweden demonstrating the ability to charge heavy trucks on an intercity road, and a project in Germany that represents the first sale of the technology to a commercial company. We thank the municipality and especially the technical teams who assisted in setting up the project. The project would not have been possible without them.”
Read more of this remarkable breakthrough at https://www.new-techeurope.com/2020/09/21/tel-aviv-yafo-municipality-in-partnership-with-electreon-and-dan-bus-company-launches-electric-road-pilot/. (Story from ElectReon and New-Tech Europe; images from ElectReon)