Listen Live
An electric car at the charging station

Source: (Photo by Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A first-of-its-kind electric vehicle charging highway is planned for West Lafayette, and it could be the first step towards a new way to travel.

“Basically, what we’ll be doing is installing these panels that allow for the charging to wirelessly charge these cars,” says Blake Dollier, Public Relations Director for the Indiana Department of Transportation West Central District.

The project is a partnership between INDOT, Purdue University and Cummins Inc., with construction awarded to White Construction. Over the next twelve months or so, road crews will install electric panels, wires and coils on U.S. 231/U.S. 52 between Cumberland Avenue and Lindberg Road in West Lafayette.

The project is exactly what it sounds like: if you’re driving at highway speeds in any kind of electric car, the highway panels will begin charging the car as you head to your destination. It’s like a smartphone wireless charging pad, but for your car.

“This is really the first step to the gateway of the future to, potentially, the future of highway traffic,” Dollier explains, “I would say our goal for something like this is to be successful and maybe, perhaps, inspire innovative ideas of other kinds. Here in the state of Indiana, we call ourselves the crossroads of America. It’s something we truly hope to live up to and I think this is a great step in continuing to live up to that name.”

Installation begins Monday, April 1st. You can view a full construction timeline here.

Full interview with INDOT’s Blake Dollier below:

INDOT reminds you to always be safe and watch out for construction crews as they begin building this new section of highway.