Future of Transportation: Could Roads Recharge Electric Cars? The Technology May Be Close.

We are proud to share The New York Times article about our technology and roadways electrification as part of series on the Future of Transportation, which is exploring innovations and challenges that affect how we move about the world.

Here´s a direct quote from article:

“The multiyear project will use a magnetizable concrete technology — developed by the German company Magment — enabling wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.

The technology works by adding small particles of recycled ferrite — a ceramic made by mixing iron oxide blended with slivers of metallic elements, such as nickel and zinc — to a concrete mixture which is magnetized by running an electrical current. This creates a magnetic field that transmits power wirelessly to the vehicle.

A plate or box made of the patented material, roughly 12-feet long by 4-feet wide, is buried inside the roadway at a depth of a few inches. The box contains coils of wire that connect to the power grid through specialized electronic equipment — that’s the transmitter, explained Dionysios Aliprantis, a professor at the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue.

Surrounding the transmitter is normal roadway material — concrete or asphalt. The transmitters would be embedded in the roadway one after the other, allowing for a continuous power transfer. The receiver is a similar, but smaller box with coils that is attached to the underside of a car.

(Another product from the company is MagPad, a wireless power transmitter pad which can be installed either on-ground or in-ground. The transmitters could be installed at public parking lots or private garages.)

The project will test the electrified pavement through analysis and research conducted at the Indiana Department of Transportation Accelerated Pavement Testing facility in West Lafayette. The first test will apply pressure on the roadway segment as if trucks are driving on it to see if the pavement will last, Mr. Aliprantis said.

A big challenge is clearly on the vehicle side, agreed Mauricio Esguerra, chief executive and co-founder of Magment. “The automotive industry is so busy with making batteries, making software, so that confronting them right now with inductive charging is a priority which is far away. The spirit of this project is to concentrate first on the technical challenges of demonstrating that it works.””

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