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Upstate South Carolina once again drew the attention of the automotive and technology industries this week with news that the Greenville county-based International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC) will become one of the first host sites for new wireless charging test beds for electric vehicles.

Part of a major R&D collaborative reviewed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the wireless test bed was developed by Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) through partnerships with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ITIC, Toyota, Cisco, Duke Energy and Evatran.

“Preparing for the future infrastructure requirements for electric vehicles is important to Duke Energy, therefore we are pleased to collaborate with Clemson University ICAR and their partners in the establishment of a wireless charging test site at the ITIC,” said Mike Rowand, director of technology development at Duke Energy, in an ITIC press release.

In short, the test bed will allow researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of wirelessly charging electric vehicles through embedded charging stations found on the surfaces the vehicles pass over.


(An electric Toyota Scion prepares for charging by rolling over a wireless power transfer system at the International Transportation Innovation Center.)

Per ITIC:

“The ITIC wireless charging test bed can support both stationary as well as in-motion wireless charging. Although the first development stage of in-motion wireless charging will be performed at lower speeds (under 35 mph), a built-out option already has been identified on a mile-long straightaway road segment to test dynamic wireless charging at higher speeds. The ITIC test bed has been prepared to also support higher power levels of up to 250 kilowatts.”

This is yet another example of the unique benefits ITIC offers for the automotive industry, including those located in Upstate South Carolina. The nearly 600-acre research-based testing facility was created as collaboration between a number of automotive leaders and partners, including the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center (SCTAC), the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and CU-ICAR. It serves solely to provide a unique automotive testing and research environment that supports the development of sustainable transportation and networked vehicle systems. 

For more information on automotive research and innovation in Upstate South Carolina, visit http://upstatescalliance.com/target-audiences/automotive/research-innovation.