E-mobility start-up and Postcode Lottery Green Challenge nominee ElectRoad from Israel aims to transform the entire transportation system with electrifying roads that wirelessly charge your car. We talked to co-founder and CEO Oren Ezer about the best way to enter the market and the thirst of European cities for green mobility solutions.

Electroad portretCan you tell us about ElectRoad and its mission?
“We started the company 3 years ago with a mission to reduce pollution within cities. Electric mobility is the future and we understood that the energy source, which powers the vehicle, is the challenge. So, we came up with an idea to reduce the size of the energy source in the vehicle: the battery. Our basic concept is that we feed the engine with wireless energy that will be transferred from embedded coils under the road. We call it smart road.

ElectRoad can significantly increase the rate of electric vehicle (EV) penetration. Our solution will reduce the weight and cost of the vehicle, remove the need to charge, and eliminate the range anxiety. Furthermore, it will reduce the amount of battery recycling need. Our go to market is urban public transportation, which is the biggest pollutant in urban areas. Once our infrastructure has been deployed in main roads we will be able to allow the use of the private sector as well

How will ElectRoad reduce CO2 emission?
“The use of EV will reduce CO2 emissions dramatically. A few kilometres of ElectRoad infrastructure in a city can in turn lead to the use of a variety of electric vehicles such as buses, trucks, autonomous cars, and private cars

Electric vehicles produce zero-emission. However, these vehicles use electricity which is produced at power stations thus the amount of pollution depends on the method of the electricity’s generation. Therefore, it is difficult to exactly forecast the CO2 reduction by ElectRoad. The move towards renewable energy in the EU will enhance the reduction of CO2 emission. But of course, to reduction of local pollution effecting health is almost 100% in EVs.

Additionally, our goal is to collaborate with local companies and produce the infrastructure- stripe close to market in order to create local jobs and decrease transportation emissions and costs. This will be possible in the near future when each region will be consuming a big quantity of the stripes.”

What stage is ElectRoad in at the moment?
“We have a proof of concept of an electric vehicle driving on a 25-meter road in our own facilities. We are working on a full-scale demonstration of an electric vehicle driving on 100-meter road, here in Israel. After that demonstration we will start a pilot project in Israel and hopefully one in Europe as well. In Europe, we are in the process of collaborating with two strategic partners; both well-known companies from the infrastructure and road construction industries. Expectantly we will start by the end of this year.

We also work with car-manufacturing and bus-manufacturing companies, from Europe and China. A dramatic change toward electric mobility takes place in China. But we have chosen to focus is Europe first. It’s a huge market, seeking for green solutions in transportation. The European Union is taking a series of measures to reduce the impact of transport on health and strongly believes in innovative solutions and local action to improve the situation. For example, the EU created the Horizon 2020 programme, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

We also have the advantage of the familiarity in European cities with trolley busses. Our concept is pretty much the same, but without the wires, much cheaper and with less maintenance required. And, most importantly, our system is open to all kinds of vehicles. We only have to install our receiver in the vehicle. We are in touch with governments and municipal authorities of several European cities that are interested to start pilots after the demonstration phase. Our goal is to revolutionise the entire transportation segment. Electrifying vehicles is only the beginning.”