The Norwegian company ENRX wants to inductive charging electric vehicles with 200 kW while driving on a section of highway in Florida. A one-mile section of a four-lane highway near Orlando is to be electrified.
ENRX was founded in March this year, as a merger of EFD Induction, a provider of induction heating solutions, and IPT Technology, an expert in wireless power transmission. ENRX has teamed up with the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) and the Aspire Engineering Research Center for an initiative to build a 1.6-kilometre section on a four-lane highway near Orlando that will inductively charge the batteries of moving electric vehicles at 200 kW.
The principle is clear: the electric vehicle batteries are fitted with a special receiver pad and charged as they drive over the coils embedded in the road. In the process, the energy is transferred from these coils to the receiver pad mounted on the vehicle floor, which according to ENRX should provide “a safe, wireless power supply” even at motorway speeds.
Advantages of the ‘Next Generation Electric Roadway system’ mentioned include interoperability, different output power levels for different vehicle and battery types, or user-defined distance between the ground and the vehicle. In addition, the system (on the infrastructure side) is supposed to be maintenance-free after installation.
Details on how the solution works exactly or how it differs from other systems for dynamic inductive charging are not mentioned in the press release. It is also not specified, for example, with what tolerance the vehicle must be moved above the ground coil – precise alignment above a charging pad on the ground is already an important factor in stationary inductive charging. The efficiency of the energy transfer is also not yet known.
“When you can charge while driving, range anxiety and frequent charging stops will be a thing of the past,” says ENRX CEO Bjørn Eldar Petersen. “Our unparalleled expertise in induction technology allows us to deliver charging at 200 kW even at high speeds. No one else has the technology to offer anything similar.”
Further, he explains how this would change requirements for electric vehicle construction: “Dynamic charging can reduce the need for large battery capacities, allowing cars to be equipped with lighter and more affordable battery packs.”
“As a roadway agency, it is exciting to work with ENRX and ASPIRE to pilot this emerging technology that has the potential to make a significant impact on the future of roadway infrastructure,” added Glenn Pressimone, Chief of Infrastructure at the CFX authority.
ENRX are not the only ones working on “smart roads”, still the claims appear astonishing compared to one of the longer running projects in Gotland, Sweden. Here technology company ElectReon claims a fully electric 40-ton truck and trailer have reached speeds up to 80 kph and received an average power of 70 kW from the electrified roadway.