Could road electrification to charge vehicles while driving come to Central Florida?

Central Florida Expressway Authority considering pilot program

ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida transportation leaders are considering a pilot program that would charge electric vehicles while in motion.

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The Central Florida Expressway Authority listened to a virtual presentation Thursday from ASPIRE. The research center is based at Utah State University and is developing technology to charge electric vehicles while on the go.

David Christensen with ASPIRE described how road electrification could be used.

“Maybe on the on-ramp coming onto the expressway. Maybe going through the Starbucks drive-thru. Maybe as it’s passing from one county to the next and the next and maybe from one utility jurisdiction to the next and the next,” Christensen said.

According to the presentation, electrical coils would be installed in the roadways and charge vehicles as they drive.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he could see road electrification used for the city’s bus service.

“I would think that a good model or use would be bus rapid transit on a fixed route,” Dyer said.

Christensen said electrical cars are the future and the time to get the charging infrastructure in place is now.

“The charging infrastructure really has to be able to support and drive that,” he said.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority said there are still many unknowns, including what the pilot program would look like, how much it would cost, and who would fund it.

The board is expected to continue discussing ideas next year.