Following the launch of Nikola’s hydrogen-electric powered truck, the Colorado State Department of Transportation says it is working with private partners to explore the development of an energy-transfer highway segment, first revealed by US truck publication, Heavy Duty Trucking.
According to the HDT report, the project will allow real-world testing of a stretch of an electric grid embedded in a stretch of highway that transfers electricity to electric-powered trucks through a coil transmission and reception system. Much like a cell phone charging surface commonly used today, the project would use powerful energy coils to transmit electric power upwards and into energy receiving coils mounted on the underside of trucks traveling in the dedicated energy-transfer lane.
Peter Kozinski is director of CDOT’s RoadX program – a forward-looking initiative that seeks out new, energy-efficient transportation technologies. He says the agency has been working with AECOM Ventures, a Los Angeles-based infrastructure builder for approximately 8 months to flesh out the beginning stages of the pilot program.
“We feel the vehicle of the future will be electrically powered,” said Peter Kozinski, Director of CDOT’s RoadX program – an initiative that seeks out new, energy-efficient transportation technologies. “Yet, the cost of battery packs, combined with range anxiety concerns are real barriers to widespread acceptance of this technology. Our goal with this project is to determine if this power grid and energy transfer system can work in real-world driving conditions.”
According to Kozinski, RoadX and AECOM are currently in the preliminary stages of the project and hope to identify additional OEM, technology, and fleet partners, as well as identify the criteria for a test highway and optimal locations for the roadway. “We hope to have those goals accomplished in the next 6 to 8 months, and begin planning for actual construction to begin something in early 2018,” he told HDT.