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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

MANAGING FOR THE FUTURE: ELECTRIC CHARGING ROADS

Far-sighted elected officials talk about the need to manage their governments with the future – not just the past or the present – in mind. In September 2021, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer did just that when she announced a pilot initiative to develop the nation’s first wireless charging infrastructure on a public road. With the rapid evolution of electric vehicles, this was planned to give the state a jump start on the new technology by allowing “electric vehicles to charge while in motion and stationary,” according to a release published at the time.


In late November, the first stretch of this roadway, constructed by Electreon, a company that specializes in this kind of technology, was unveiled to the press. 


An article in City and State quoted Justine Johnson, chief mobility officer of  the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (and who ever heard that title before?), as saying, “Michigan has always been at the forefront of innovation in mobility, and that forward-thinking is on display with the latest advances in inductive charging from Electreon, the first deployment of this electric vehicle charging technology in the United States . . . This latest milestone supports the goals of the MI Future Mobility Plan to grow Michigan’s mobility leadership . . .”


The technology works by allowing vehicles with receivers to charge their batteries wirelessly through a magnetic field.


This may be the first such effort in the United States, but it likely won’t be the last, According to Electreon’s website, “The pilot will also serve as a potential first step towards much larger Electric Road Systems being considered in multiple U.S. states. . . “



Clearly Michigan intends to stay on the cutting edge of this technology, as just days after this display of the battery-charging road, on  December 5th, Whitmer signed an executive directive which ordered the state government to have its entire fleet converted to electric vehicles by 2040. As the order stated, “This will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, boost demand for Michigan automakers’ [Zero Emission Vehicle] production and reduce the overall costs of the state fleet.”


[Please note: To keep track of executive orders like this one, see the map we’ve created in the resources section of this website here.]


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