Welcome to the future of electrified roads
Did you know that transportation accounts for approximately one quarter of all carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions globally and, in the U.S., it’s the highest CO2 emitting sector?
Reducing transportation sector emissions is just one of the ways Jacobs can help address climate change challenges, and “greening” of public and private vehicles is a critical step on our path towards improving air quality and creating healthier cities.
So we’re thrilled to be part of a consortium chosen by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and led by Electreon to develop and implement an inductive vehicle charging pilot — the first of its kind in the U.S.
The pilot program is being led by Electreon, a leading provider of wireless charging solutions for electric vehicles (EVs). As engineering partner, Jacobs is providing project management and design services to successfully deliver this pilot project through to operations in 2023. We’ve also recently announced a strategic collaboration with Electreon on select wireless EV charging projects across the U.S. for industry-leading fleet operators including city and state authorities.
As the #1 Design Firm ranked by Engineering News-Record and a leading provider of planning, design, construction management, and technical support services for transportation infrastructure, we’re already advising clients on how to plan and implement a conversion to EV through our strategic Green Fleets Initiative.
Jacobs Senior Project Manager Craig VanGordon is leading our team’s design effort and providing construction engineering support, while EV Subject Matter Expert Brian Burkhard is bringing his 34 years of electrical and systems engineering experience — including acting as project manager for numerous MDOT projects — to advise on matters related to intelligent transportation systems and EVs.
NextEnergy, a Detroit-based clean energy accelerator, will head up stakeholder and partner engagement. They’ll be supported by partners including automaker Ford Motor Co, diversified energy company DTE and the City of Detroit.
Inductive wireless charging – transportation of the future
Last September, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a pilot initiative to develop the first wireless charging infrastructure on a public road in the U.S. in Michigan, “re-powering” the automotive vision that began more than a century before and led to the city’s moniker as the Motor City. The MDOT is providing $1.9 million in funding.
The consortium will design and build a one mile stretch of dynamic and stationary wireless EV charging technology in Detroit. The project will be hosted by and live within Michigan Central, a mobility innovation district.
Electreon’s innovative wireless technology enables inductive charging by placing embedded coils under the road pavement, along with semi-dynamic charging at strategic locations for charging vehicles while stationary in a queuing or parking lane, for example. The system will support a suite of use cases involving various vehicle types and partners including autonomous vehicles, and addresses several shortcomings in electrification related to battery limitations, charging needs and vehicle asset use. Overall, Electreon is solving range anxiety and reducing battery size.
The world’s most versatile and advanced electrified road
Electreon has completed five successful projects across Europe on public roads in Sweden, Germany, Italy and Israel, and the Detroit pilot is expected to be one of the most diverse electrified roads in the world built and operated in an urban setting.
Electreon’s system is based on inductive energy transfer, involving energy being transmitted through the air from one coil to another.
There are three main system components:
- A management unit located at the side of the road (the ‘brain’), which allows power to be transferred from the first coil (buried under the road surface) to the secondary coil inside a receiver pad that is installed under the vehicle chassis. It can be aboveground or underground where real estate is limited.
- The roadway infrastructure which consists of in-road copper coils that transfer power to the vehicles’ receivers. The system is completely passive until there is an authenticated vehicle above the coil.
- The vehicle receivers that transmit energy directly to the vehicle battery and engine.
The real-time management system (which includes cloud system meters) monitors and manages optimal EV charging at fleet scales, allowing for control oversight. What makes Electreon’s system completely unique is that the architecture is built for scale — one management unit can charge up to 60 vehicles simultaneously.
“As the world transitions to the future of electrified transportation, cities and communities are seeking and adopting green economic-centric models as part of the transformation. This innovative pilot project aims to demonstrate efficient vehicle operability to prove the viability of wireless EV charging and is just one of the ways Jacobs and our partners are working together to create a more connected, sustainable world.”
An electrifying vision for the future, with key partnerships
Jacobs shares MDOT’s vision of the electric smart mobility revolution and the role of inductive wireless charging as a key electrification solution. We are helping cities around the world move toward their net zero goals through alternative fuels and green transportation. Our Michigan office, which includes more than 600 employees, will support our project team. In addition to our strategic partnership with Electreon, Jacobs recently acquired StreetLight Data, Inc., which offers on-demand analytics that are transforming transportation and infrastructure planning, enabling smarter, more impactful investments.
On March 17, 2022, StreetLight announced their EV Solution for Site Evaluation, designed to assist with regional and local EV charging site selection. With data for all vehicles (not just EVs), the new offering is designed to help transportation planners optimize the build-out of EV charging infrastructure across North America. The solution provides comprehensive data to guide the use of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program funds for State DOTs, as well as supporting the evaluation needs of cities, regions, utilities and charger operators.
“Jacobs is committed to delivering decarbonization solutions to address the increasingly critical issue of climate change. And as the world transitions to the future of electrified transportation, cities and communities are seeking and adopting green economic-centric models as part of the transformation,” says Jacobs People & Places Americas Senior Vice President and General Manager Ron Williams. “This innovative pilot project aims to demonstrate efficient vehicle operability to prove the viability of wireless EV charging and is just one of the ways Jacobs and our partners are working together to create a more connected, sustainable world.”
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