Feasibility Study and Design of In-Road Electric Vehicle Charging Technologies
Dynamic Wireless Charging (DWC) lanes offer a potential method to provide electric vehicles (EVs) with wireless charging on roadways. Researchers in Indiana developed a practical framework for assessing the feasibility of DWC technology and to design a test bed for in-road EV charging technologies, focusing on heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). After exploring the suitable locations in Indiana based on a list of demand, cost, and EV criteria, a design for a DWC power system capable of powering HDVs was created using modelling and simulation techniques, assuming 100 percent penetration level and purely electric drivetrains. Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) data between 2017 and 2019 was obtained from Indiana Department of Transportation for a 7.6-mile segment of I-70 east of Indianapolis to support a simulation of a representative high-traffic condition with a class 9 traffic volume of 450 trucks per hour and a velocity of 65 miles per hour (mph). This traffic was then translated into electrical load for multiple electric truck penetration levels, ranging from 25 percent to 100 percent. In addition, researchers also analyzed a larger scale scenario for adoption of DWC lanes on I-65 from Indianapolis to the Kentucky border to estimate costs and assess financial feasibility.
- Focus on interstate highway DWC lanes with high truck traffic, near airports and ports, and distanced from EV charging stations for highest economic feasibility. The study found that DWC infrastructure was the most economically feasible and hence suitable for these locations. Other factors such as distance from intermodal facilities or military bases, planned construction / preservation projects, and floodplains did not significantly affect the identification of the most suitable segments.
- Implement the DWC technology jointly with major pavement preservation or replacement activities. The results of this study showed that if the construction of the DWC lanes is scheduled in conjunction with a pavement replacement activity, the respective DWC differential costs range between $4.6 and 4.8 million per lane-mile, compared to a full lane prefabricated construction cost of $6.3–6.6 million per lane-mile. In early stages of the technology, prefabricated slabs would allow for trial and error, while in-situ installation may have economies of scale in the future.
- Ensure that electrical transmission and distribution systems have the capacity and capability to accommodate significant power fluctuations. The analysis results revealed that DWC systems require a significant amount of electricity and power, and power demand may fluctuate by as much as 15 megawatts (MW) per second.
- Evaluate access to power networks when identifying DWC installation locations. This study found that a relatively small portion of I-65 could be powered at 100 percent market penetration. At low penetration rates, approximately 50 to 60 percent of the I-65 northbound segments could be energized to the level needed for HDVs. Additional power capacity near the corridor would be required to support higher penetration rates as the existing substations are unlikely to serve future DWC needs for HDVs. Thus, consideration should be given to the construction of new substations to support EVs as market penetration expands to improve economic feasibility and competitiveness.
- Deploy renewable energy resources near DWC lanes to reduce electricity costs and emissions. Including battery energy storage could also reduce the impact of intermittent renewable energy generation and better accommodate power demand fluctuations.