Electreon and Eurovia to promote electric roads in Europe

[Image above: Electreon’s electric road installation in Gotland, Sweden]

The Israeli company Electreon has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Eurovia, a company owned by the VINCI corporation, under which they will promote projects for the construction of electric roads in Germany, France and Belgium. Two of VINCI’s subsidiaries, Eurovia and Omexom, provide services to Electreon as part of a demonstration project in Germany carried out with EnBW, which is one of the largest energy companies in Europe. Eurovia is considered to be one of the largest road construction contractors in the world. It is active in 15 countries around the world and employs 44,000 people. In 2019, its revenues totaled at about 10 billion euros.

The agreement will help Electreon to establish operations also in France and Belgium, strengthen its execution capabilities and promote the full commercialization phase of the technology. As part of the agreement, Eurovia will integrate Electreon’s technology into its existing range of products and will support the construction, design and maintenance of smart electric roads. Electreon will provide the technology that includes installation, operations and maintenance, and will analyze and identify business opportunities . Electreon’s CEO Oren Ezer said working with a company the size of Eurovia “would provide governments and other potential partners with the confidence needed to advance the smart electric road solution.”

First Electric Roads in Sweden and Tel-Aviv

Electreon Wireless developed an electric road technology that charges the batteries of electric vehicles during their drive on the electrical section. It is based on the use of magnetic coils that are placed under the traffic lanes and charge the vehicles’ chargers wirelessly, using magnetic induction. This helps to reduce the weight of the electric vehicles, since a relatively small battery is needed. The system includes a management unit located on the sides of the traffic lanes of the electric road, and a receiver unit located in the vehicle’s undercarriage.

The company reported last March on the complete integration of the system on a public road on the island of Gotland in Sweden and successfully performed a dynamic and static wireless charging experiment of a heavy electric truck equipped with receivers that it developed. It recently reported the start of an Israeli pilot in collaboration with Dan Bus Company and the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality: paving a smart road with infrastructure for charging electric buses on a 2 km section of which the electric road section will be about 600 meters and will connect Tel Aviv University to the nearby train station. Electreon is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a market value of approximately NIS 2.7 billion.

ElectReon Raised $50 Million for EV Charging in Motion

The year 2020 is a critical year for Electreon Wireless from Beit Yanai, near Tel Aviv. The company has almost completed the viability tests of its unique Wireless Electric Roads (ERS) technology, and now is preparing itself for the next phase: commercialization and large scale projects. This week it gained the trust of some of Israel’s biggest institutional Investors, such as Migdal, Psagot, Mor, Excellence and more, who invested US$50 million in the company.

Electreon Wireless was established in 2013 and developed a new concept of Electric Road: It makes use of Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer via electromagnetic fields produced under the roadbed, to charge the batteries of passing Electric Vehicles, thus allows for smaller and cheaper batteries, and new services such as “Charge as a Service”.

The system consists of a copper coils as road infrastructure placed under the road at the center of the traffic lane; A receiver located under the vehicle chassis; Communication system to provides real-time communication with each vehicle and a Power station – An underground system that transmits the energy to the road’s infrastructure.

Prior to the last investment round, Electreon had achieved a major milestone: It had completed a test of dynamic wireless charging of a 40 ton long haul electric truck on the island of Gotland, Sweden. The test verified that the road infrastructure successfully functions in real life conditions and that the system is not affected by snow or rain.

Charging a moving truck on the island of Gotland, Sweden
Charging a moving truck on the island of Gotland, Sweden

The test was conducted on a public stretch of electric road, that was deployed in November 2019, between the airport and the town of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland. The system provided dynamic charging of the truck on a 50 meter section at a speed of up to 30 km/h. The results proved that the system operated while the truck was on the move and all the receivers functioned and transferred 45 kW to the truck’s battery. Additional electric road segments will be deployed and an electric bus will be in commercial operation as an airport shuttle.

The company is expecting to complete full commissioning of its demo projects in Tel Aviv and Sweden by the end of 2020. Those projects include a 25-30 km deployment that will charge heavy-duty trucks in Sweden, and a 10 km shared deployment for public transportation and other commercial users in Tel Aviv. The company also plans to establish a local presence in selected new markets such as GermanyItalyFranceCaliforniaIndia, and Latin America, and to use the funds to accelerate the development of commercial projects.