The new road will allow electric cars and busses to charge while driving © RTA
The new road will allow electric cars and busses to charge while driving © RTA

Dubai trials electric-charging road surface

18 February 2020

Dubai is trialling a new road surface that charges electric vehicles as they drive over it.

A 60m stretch of road in Dubai could speed up adoption of electric vehicles across the UAE.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is testing a specially laid track that utilises Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) technology to turn the tarmac into a giant wireless charging point.

The technology aims to charge vehicles as they move over it. If rolled out on a larger scale, the technology could dramatically impact the government’s aims to have 10% of all new vehicles in the city being hybrid or electric by the end of the year.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general of the RTA said: “The RTA has tested an electric vehicle and a bus on this path, and already it is proving to be a highly efficient wireless charging system, comparable with cable charging.”

To bring the project to fruition, the RTA has collaborated with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Dubai Silicon Oasis. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director & CEO of the DEWA, said the initiative should help to increase the number of electric vehicles in Dubai. "The DEWA has installed over 240 charging stations for electric vehicles across Dubai. We plan to increase this to 300 by the end of 2020.”

Because the charging technology is embedded under the road, it is completely invisible to road users, and does not hamper the movement of people and vehicles over it - unlike on-road cable chargers.

This pilot project is just one of a number of initiatives getting underway as part of the government’s US$27bn (AED100bn) green fund to help Dubai achieve its green targets. 

They include reducing carbon emissions by 16% by 2021. Currently, all government vehicles must now be electric.

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