Tel Aviv set to become first city with electric roads that charge public transportation

A wireless electric roadway in Israel will power some public buses as part of a pilot program to test a new green transportation technology.

Posted: Sep 23, 2020 10:10 AM
Updated: Sep 23, 2020 10:10 AM

The city of Tel Aviv is working on creating wireless electric roads to charge and power public transportation in the city.

The electric roads are part of a pilot program led by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality in collaboration with ElectReon, a company developing a system that can charge electric vehicles while they are moving, and Dan Bus Company. The project is being funded by a combination of government and private funds, according to a spokesperson for ElectReon, though a full budget has not been released.

The roads will span from Tel Aviv University Railway station to Klatzkin Terminal in Ramat Aviv, a route of about 1.2 miles. The electric road itself will be about .37 miles long, a little less than half a mile.

Electric infrastructure under the road will charge specially-equipped buses. The system consists of a set of copper coils that are placed under the asphalt of the street, according to ElectReon. "Energy is transferred from the electricity grid to the road infrastructure and manages communication with the approaching vehicles," according to the company's website.

As for the vehicles, receivers are installed on the floor of the vehicle to transmit energy directly to the battery while driving.

"The last few days have been spent constructing the road," a spokesperson for the city told CNN Business. "Testing and trial runs will be required in the coming weeks before commencing regular operations."

If the pilot is successful, the municipality of Tel Aviv will look into expanding and using the electric roads to more sections in the city. "Our strategic action plan to prepare for climate change has placed the fight against pollution at the top of the municipality's environmental agenda," Ron Huldai, the city's mayor, said in a press release. "If the pilot is successful, we will evaluate -- together with the Ministry of Transportation -- its expansion to additional locations in the city."

"Relying on direct charging of vehicles from the road itself will remove the need to establish charging stations or be operationally bound to terminals," Meital Lehavi, the deputy mayor for transportation at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, said.

The technology's testing and integration timeline is expected to take about two months, after which Dan Bus Company will commence regular journeys on the route, transporting passengers who are traveling to and from Tel Aviv University, according to a press release from the municipality of Tel Aviv.

This news comes during car companies' continuing race to get electric vehicles to market.

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