Will Roads Be Able to Supply Cars With Energy in the Future?


German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure finances RWTH research project, InductInfra


RWTH researchers are seeking to develop concepts and material systems for the transfer of energy between vehicles and roads. They are also investigating how they can integrate this into the infrastructure with the aim of having vehicles draw the energy required to run or to be rapidly charged from an induction field while in use. Induction modules embedded in the road would generate this energy. The Institute of Highway Engineering headed by Professor Markus Oeser and the Institute of Electrical Machines headed by Professor Kay Hameyer are cooperating on the InductInfra project. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure will provide funding of around 1.6 million euros for the project through the "Road Innovation Program” until October 2023.

The current focus of the funding program is the electrification of private and commercial vehicles. Long-distance electric traffic is still fraught with many problems, such as lack of range, battery size, battery weight, and inadequate charging infrastructure. A possible solution to this could lie in continuous charging or energy transfer between the vehicle and the roadway during the journey. This could result in electric vehicles with a virtually unlimited range, moderate battery size, and low battery weight.

The research undertaken at RWTH aims to develop induction modules, the necessary materials, and the technologies for permanent integration in the transport infrastructure. The potential, operational reliability, and economic viability of supplying the induction modules with renewable energy are also being investigated.

Source: Press and Communications