We don’t know much about the product, but Magment’s site says the concrete medium filled with magnetic particles has “record-breaking wireless transmission efficiency … up to 95%,” “standard road-building installation costs,” enables universal charging, is all-weather, has a high thermal conductivity, and is vandalism-proof. The first two phases of the experiment will have Purdue’s Joint Transportation Research Program conducting testing, analysis, and optimization research on the special cement in the lab to verify its usability. The testing is meant to begin sometime before the end of summer.
If those phases show promise, INDOT will build a quarter-mile stretch of magment highway at an undisclosed location for real-world testing on heavy trucks at 200 kilowatts and above. And if that’s successful, INDOT will build another section of magment highway, this time on one of the state’s public roads.
INDOT, Purdue, and Aspire aren’t the only boffins toiling over hot concrete. Outfits like IPT Prime in Germany, U.S. universities Stanford and Cornell, and other groups in places like California, Sweden and Israel are all trying to get roads to refill batteries, an effort that began at least 20 years ago. Making EV charging as easy as driving one’s EV would certainly help battery-electric vehicle adoption. The price tag for replacing and powering huge chunk of a country’s road system might be a little steep, though.