Indiana and Michigan in race to build nation’s first EV-charging road! Costa Rica is first country to solve EV eco-tourism range anxiety and it seeks to ban fossil fuel exploration, too!
Indiana and Michigan in Race to Build USA’s First EV-Charging Road, Costa Rica First Nation to Solve EV Eco-Tourism Range Anxiety and Seeks to Ban Fossil Fuel Exploration
INDIANA TO BUILD USA’S FIRST ELECTRIC CHARGING ROAD
According to the Indiana.gov press release, The Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University recently announced plans to develop the world’s first contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment. The project will use innovative magnetizable concrete – developed by German startup Magment GmbH – enabling wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.
“Indiana is known as the Crossroads of America and we’re committed to fortifying our position as a transportation leader by innovating to support the emerging vehicle technology,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said.
“As electric vehicles become more widely used, demand for reliable, convenient charging infrastructure continues to grow, and the need to innovate is clear,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said. “We’re excited to partner with Purdue and Magment to explore incorporating wireless charging technology into highway infrastructure.”
“The field of transportation is in the midst of a transformation not experienced since the invention of the automobile,” Nadia Gkritza, Professor of Civil Engineering and Agricultural and Biological Engineering and ASPIRE Campus Director at Purdue University said. “Through this research, we envision opportunities to reduce emissions and near-road exposures to pollutants.”
The last quote is most significant in that this new technology addresses the concurrent issue of environmental justice. The Climate Daily has reported on both community organizations and medical professionals who have correlated high incidences of asthma and other respiratory illness in communities (particularly of color) who live near and thus exposed to vehicular pollutants from heavily traveled roads.
Of the three scheduled phases of the project, INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness says the team is rapidly approaching phase 2–pavement testing and analysis.
MICHIGAN TO BUILD NATION’S SECOND ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING ROAD
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a new initiative to develop the nation’s first wireless charging infrastructure on a public road in the U.S. Actually, Michigan would be second, well because…Indiana. But I digress. The goal of the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot is to assist Michigan attain its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, a venture between the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.
It will deploy an electrified roadway system that allows electric buses, shuttles and vehicles to charge WHILE DRIVING, enabling electric vehicles to operate continuously without stopping to charge. And why does this matter to us?
Electrified roadways have the potential to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles by consumers and fleet operations alike by enabling continuous vehicle operations and turning public streets into safe and sustainable shared energy platforms.
Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification said, “We’re in the midst of the most significant shift in the automotive industry since the Model T rolled off the assembly line more than a century ago, and Michigan is once again setting the course for manufacturing the vehicles of the future and deploying charging solutions that make EV adoption more widely available.”
COSTA RICA FIRST NATION TO SOLVE RANGE ANXIETY FOR EV ECO-TOURISTS
Speaking of range anxiety…On the road to Monteverde, Costa Rica, a mountain town nestled in an otherworldly cloud forest, the restaurant El Sol sits on a cliff’s edge, the last stop before a steep, uphill drive of misty vistas and hairpin turns. It looks like a traditional soda, except it also has a silver cylinder with green lettering in the parking lot, the area’s first electric vehicle (EV) charging station.
Katy Van Dusen, a longtime Monteverde resident and founder of the Monteverde Commission for Resilience to Climate Change (Corclima), a resiliency organization of which Ruta Eléctrica is one initiative, says, “We’re not waiting for the government to install chargers. Businesses can offer charging infrastructure anywhere there’s electricity. It’s a matter of making it available to electric vehicles.”
Approximately 85 charging points have grown out of Ruta Eléctrica. As we reported recently on The Climate Daily, Costa Rica is already an award winning, climate change combat chamion. In addition to its ambitious decarbonization plan, nearly 100% of its electricity is generated from renewable sources. Deforestation was banned in 1996 and a moratorium on oil and gas production could become law later this year.
COSTA RICA TO BAN FOSSIL FUEL EXPLORATION
Last August, Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarados introduced a bill before his country’s legislature seeking to ban permanently fossil fuel exploration and extraction. It’s an attempt to make permanent a temporary ban first imposed back in 2002. That ban was to expire in 2014, but was extended through 2050.
Let’s be real. Costa Rica is a tiny country, so why mention it now and why does what the tiny Central American paradise does to fight Big Oil matter to us?
First, the vote on this ban is scheduled for this month. That’s why now. And as Costa Rican native and former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said in an interview with Reuters, “Our concern now is to remove the temptation, either today or at any time tomorrow, for there to be any current or future government who might think that returning to fossil fuels of the past century is actually a good idea for our country.”
What also matters is Costa Rica’s commitment to the rest of the world community. More importantly, Costa Rica’s action serves as a template for other nations to use in their efforts to rapidly decarbonize their economies.