Frequently Asked Questions
- How does it work?
Wireless electric road technology is based on magnetic resonance induction, with copper coils installed under the roadway. The coils transfer energy to a receiver that can be mounted under any kind of electric vehicle, such as trucks, vans, buses and cars. Wireless charging can be installed absolutely anywhere as it does not have the same limitations as conductive (plug-in) charging. The technology can be deployed along public roads, tollways, motorways, bus routes, taxi lanes, in parking lots, and at commercial depot centers. This enables frequent ‘top-up’ or opportunity charging throughout fleet operational hours—typically during the day—and converts idle or ‘dead’ time into charging opportunities. This technology reduces the need for large batteries and extensive grid connection capacity, flattening the electrical demand curve, all of which significantly lowers costs and enables better management of transport energy.
- What is the difference between inductive and conductive charging?
Inductive charging is charging over the air, by magnetic field coupling, which enables wireless charging. Common examples in daily life are an inductive kitchen stove, wireless phone charging and charging of an electric toothbrush.
Conductive charging on electric roads means that electric energy is transferred with a direct connection such as a cable or plug, or from the roadway, from the side or from above, via rails or electric wires, where the electric vehicles have to connect physically while parked. Some electric vehicles can charge while driving and this technology requires an arm or pantograph attached to the vehicle that connects the rail or the cable to enable the vehicle to receive power as it moves.
- Why wireless?
The wireless technology makes the system flexible, cost-effective, easy to maintain, and has minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
Wireless Electric Road Systems (wERS) and wireless charging stations are an important solution to help make our transport system more sustainable. Conductive technology is favorable in some specific use cases, but inductive systems offer much greater flexibility. Wireless charging can operate as a shared charging platform, be deployed in endless areas of use, and work with CaaS and RaaS business models. Inductive technology is also well suited for autonomous vehicles (AVs) as no human intervention is required. As EV ownership grows, conductive solutions can complement the more flexible and sustainable inductive Electric Road charging solutions.
- What is the technical lifespan of the infrastructure?
With normal maintenance the coils and other equipment will have an estimated technical lifespan of approximately 10-20 years, although it could offer a longer lifespan.
- Is the technology useful in urban environments?
Yes. This technology is perfectly suited for urban locations, for charging vehicles that are driving, idling, queuing or parked. For example, this technology can be installed discreetly at a bus terminal or station, commercial port, a taxi queue, or city center, where many vehicles pass through. As the technology is minimal and does not require complex, large, and obstructive infrastructure to operate, it is ideal for deployment in urban environments that are traffic-heavy.
- How does the technology work with snow and ice?
The energy transfer is not affected by snow and ice.
- Is the system compatible with tunnels?
As the infrastructure lies just beneath the roadway surface , installing the technology in tunnels is not a problem, as long as the Electric Road can be provided with an energy supply.
- Is Electreon’s technology dangerous?
No, the road is safe for drivers, pedestrians, and wildlife. Each individual coil embedded in the road is only activated when a licensed vehicle passes over it. Without a licensed vehicle activating the coil to transfer energy, the technology is completely passive and will never transfer energy or radiation to unlicensed vehicles, people or animals passing by. The system has been thoroughly safety tested to identify safety risks, establish safe-practice routines, and manage energy transfer control when the charging is active. Testing has also ensured that the technology is completely safe for humans and the environment. Electreon’s technology adheres to the highest IEC, SAE and CE safety standards.