(CBS DETROIT) – In the 20th century, Detroit had the country's first paved road and electronic traffic signal installed, and now the Motor City has the nation's first wireless charging road.
The technology is the product of Electreon, which has secured an agreement with the state of Michigan to test it beginning in Corktown.
"Automatically, it knows who you are and charges you while you drive or while you stand still wirelessly without a plug without anything. And it's seamless with your driving behavior," said Stefan Tongur, Ph. D., Vice President of Business Development at Electreon.
Underneath the asphalt is a series of five-foot coils connecting to management units.
The EVs have a special receiver that activates those road coils, allowing for wireless charging.
"You know, right now, we kind of need to understand how it works. Who are the likely users who's going to get the most benefit out of this," said Brad Wieferich, Director of MDOT.
The ultimate goal is to reduce battery sizes in EVs, increase their range, and minimize the impact on the electric grid.
"A quarter mile of road. It may seem small now, but it's a huge step in how to figure out how do we bring this to scale," Joshua Sirefman, CEO of Michigan Central, said.
The $1.9 million tech is under a portion of 14th Street between Marantette and Dalzelle Streets near Michigan Central. However, it's the beginning; a part of Michigan Avenue in Corktown will also see the technology when bids for the project go out next year.
"This will be our own proving ground in the City of Detroit. Like I said, we were number one over 100 years ago. We're going to be number one in this space now," Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison said.
for more features.