Viewing entries tagged
Urban

ElectRoad will retrofit existing roads with buried coils to inductively charge easily retrofitted electric vehicles. Photo: courtesy

ElectRoad will retrofit existing roads with buried coils to inductively charge easily retrofitted electric vehicles. Photo: courtesy

A unique wireless electrification system is to be piloted on a bus route in Tel Aviv, before it moves to Europe.

By Abigail Klein Leichman

As more and more electric vehicles hit urban streets across the world, better battery-recharging solutions are desperately needed to improve range, keep costs low and boost user confidence.

Oren Ezer (CEO) and Hanan Rumbak (CTO) cofounded ElectRoad in 2013 to develop their unique twist on the concept of underground electric coils that recharge vehicles as they travel on the road.

In a few months, ElectRoad’s dynamic wireless electrification system is beginning a pilot project in Tel Aviv involving a short public bus route.

“The idea of electrifying vehicles from the road is trendy right now and you can see several companies trying to do a similar concept to us, but our technology is totally different, from the coils under the asphalt to the transfer of energy to the bus,” Ezer tells ISRAEL21c.

ElectRoad received funding in October 2015 from the European Union’s €18 billion Horizon 2020 project to refine its objectives, define its market segment and woo strategic partners.

“We can use the grants to create pilots in Europe, where we already have several partners, and will apply for Phase 2 Horizon 2020 grants at the end of 2017,” says Ezer. He expects to start a pilot project in 2018 in a European city modeled on the one in Tel Aviv.

Easy retrofitting

ElectRoad’s copper-and-rubber electromagnetic induction strips are installed inside an 8-centimeter trench in the asphalt. From digging to repaving, the process can be completed on a one-kilometer stretch in half a day.

The system also requires smart inverters with real-time communication capabilities installed on the sides of the road; and a coil unit attached beneath the electric vehicle to receive the power over a small air gap to insure safety.

Smart inverters with real-time communication are installed on the sides of the road. Photo: courtesy

Smart inverters with real-time communication are installed on the sides of the road. Photo: courtesy

“We can easily retrofit any kind of electric bus, truck or car,” says Ezer. “All we’re doing is adapting the receiver.”

Because the ElectRoad system electrifies the engine directly, without going through the battery, the vehicle’s five-ton battery can be replaced with a much smaller battery – which is lighter and more energy-efficient – providing five kilometers worth of charging in areas that are not outfitted with the underground infrastructure.

The company’s offices are in Rosh HaAyin and its main facility is in Caesarea, but Tel Aviv was an obvious choice for its first pilot. The city already has made an investment in electric buses for public transportation.

“Tel Aviv is an innovative city and we have a lot of cooperation from everyone including the transportation authorities,” says Ezer.

ElectRoad also gets funding from the Israel Innovation Authority and the ministries of Transportation, Energy and Economy.

ElectRoad technology can be retrofitted to one kilometer of road in just half a day. Photo: courtesy

ElectRoad technology can be retrofitted to one kilometer of road in just half a day. Photo: courtesy

Rolling out slowly

The first market focus will be Europe, which is thirsty for clean transportation solutions.

The potential for ElectRoad’s system is huge, however, as China has thousands of electric buses and the United States is starting to get onto the electric transportation bandwagon.

Ezer and Rumbak, who met six years ago while working at Elbit Systems, plan to scale up ElectRoad very gradually. They learned their business lessons from conversations with 20 former employees of Better Place, the Israeli electric car network that went bankrupt in May 2013, due in part to overly ambitious and too rapid expansion.

“Better Place tried to eat the whole cake in one bite. That’s why we chose public transportation to start,” says Ezer. “There is a chicken-and-egg problem: You cannot create an electric transportation system before you have the first cars, so we understood that to penetrate the market through the private sector is wrong. We need to prepare the city first.”

ElectRoad plans to focus on public transportation first before opening the platform up to private transit. Photo: courtesy

ElectRoad plans to focus on public transportation first before opening the platform up to private transit. Photo: courtesy

Looking for evolution rather than revolution, Ezer and Rumbak plan to prove their cost-savings and pollution-preventing concept one bus line at a time, working their way up to taxis and eventually to private vehicles.

“We started everything with the mission of reducing pollution,” says Ezer. “Transportation is one of the keys to reducing pollution so that’s why we started there.”

The intellectual property is protected by a patent in London, and another three pending. The pilot systems are all made in Israel; eventually the heart of the system will be manufactured in Israel and the rest abroad.

For more information, click here.

Article courtesy of  Israel21c.org

Article courtesy of Israel21c.org

ElectRoad Recharges Electric Vehicles from Under the Road

Although the country is nearly two-thirds desert, Israel has enough water to sustain itself, thanks in part to its efforts in water conservation, reuse, and desalination. Photo by and © Vision Studio

When it comes to water, Israel is up against some serious challenges. The country is nearly two-thirds desert, and even those places where water exists, such as Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) and the headwaters of the Hermon River, are overtaxed, which could lead to a breakdown of what is known as Israel’s “water economy.” Needless to say, water is at the center of many disputes in the region with Israel and its neighboring countries.

Israel has accomplished a great deal in the areas of desalination and reuse of this precious resource.

Israel has accomplished a great deal in the areas of desalination and reuse (or “reclamation”) of this precious resource. The country reuses more than 80 percent of its wastewater for irrigation—the highest percentage in the world by far (the United States, for the record, reuses about 1 percent). But the company Mekorot is aiming even higher. Desalination, though long known as a vexingly expensive prospect, is now cheaper, cleaner, and more energy efficient, and it may offer one solution to Israel’s, and perhaps the world’s, water crisis.

In the past decade, Israel has opened four major desalination plants, and as of this writing, a fifth one is about to go into operation. Together, they will produce a total of more than 130 billion gallons of potable water a year, with a goal of 200 billion gallons by 2020. These advances are so transformative that many are calling this a water revolution.

Mekorot > 

The Global Challenge of Water: Desalination and Reuse

Miya field work.

Miya is a company dedicated to optimizing urban water networks—preventing water from being wasted through leaks in urban infrastructures. Miya was established by Shari Arison in 2008 as part of Arison Investments, with the vision of ensuring an abundance of fresh water through the efficient management of existing resources.

Shockingly, more than a third of the world’s drinking water is lost from municipal supply systems.

Shockingly, more than a third of the world’s drinking water is lost from municipal supply systems, mainly due to undetected underground leaks. The most sustainable and cost-effective way to prevent such losses is to improve the efficiency of urban water-distribution systems, with effective water-loss management. Working around the world, Miya collaborates with utility companies to significantly improve water efficiency, reducing energy consumption and lowering contamination and health risks, to benefit individuals, communities, and the environment.

Miya > 

 

Miya: Assuring an Abundance of Water