Tel Aviv pilots ‘electric road’ to charge buses

23rd September 2020 Sarah Wray

​Tel Aviv has launched a pilot project using under-road electric infrastructure to charge public buses. Vehicles are charged dynamically as they travel along the route.

​In partnership with electric road systems company ElectReon and Dan Bus Company, the trial will run on 600 metres of electrified road along a two-kilometre route between Tel Aviv University Railway Station and Klatzkin Terminal in Ramat Aviv.

The technology uses copper coils embedded under roads and connected to the electricity grid, along with receivers installed under vehicles.

Following the completion of tests and integration of the technology – expected to take around two months – a Dan Bus Company electric bus will commence regular journeys on the route, serving passengers travelling to Tel Aviv University.

The city will evaluate the possibility of expanding the technology to more locations and for additional electric transportation, including public transit, distribution trucks, and private and autonomous vehicles.

Air quality

The pilot is part of the municipality’s drive to boost electric vehicles and improve air quality. At scale, it could also reduce the need for charging stations and petrol stations.

Meital Lehavi, Deputy Mayor for Transportation at Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, said: “Transforming a road into an electrified surface and a means for charging, through advanced and effective infrastructure, will enable the acceleration of the transition to electric buses. Relying on direct charging of vehicles from the road itself will remove the need to establish charging stations or be operationally bound to terminals.

“Electric transportation will assist municipal efforts to reduce air pollution and noise, and assist the transition to green modes of transport, which will contribute to improving the quality of life and the environment for residents and visitors to the city. We have no doubt that, if the wide-scale experiment is successful, it will not only benefit the public, but also save resources, improve the operational efficiency of public transportation, and maybe even a new world-class method of electrification will emanate from Tel Aviv-Yafo. This is another milestone in advancing municipal policy on sustainable transportation.”

Window to the world

Electric road construction. [Image: Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality]
Tel Aviv is understood to be the first city worldwide to roll out the technology to charge buses on a wide scale.

Oren Ezer, ElectReon CEO and founding partner, said: “This is a very important step in the implementation of electric road technology, and we are delighted that the first electrified public route is being established in Tel Aviv.

“The pilot will be a display window to the world, showcasing the ability to charge urban public transportation.”

The company is also running a project in Sweden to charge heavy trucks on an intercity road. A forthcoming initiative in Karlsruhe will power a bus line connecting utility company EnBW’s new training centre in the city’s Rhine harbour to the local public transport system.

ElectReon recently announced the successful completion of a trial in which an electric vehicle travelled continuously along a 25-metre section within its experimental complex in Beit Yanai, Israel.

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