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Israeli startup raises NIS 40m to bid in ‘smart road’ electric tender in Sweden

Electreon passes pre-screening for tender to build Sweden’s first electric road along 42 kilometers, the longest stretch in the world

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Illustration of an electric bus traveling along a stretch of Electreon smart road, recharging as it travels. (ElectReon screenshot)
Illustration of an electric bus traveling along a stretch of Electreon smart road, recharging as it travels. (ElectReon screenshot)

Electreon has raised NIS 40 million ($11.8 million) from a private placement of shares and options as the Israeli wireless “smart road” tech startup gears up to bid in a tender for the construction of the first 42-kilometer (26 miles) long electric road in Sweden.

The startup, which is publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and has been developing a wireless charging infrastructure to power electric vehicles (EVs), announced on Thursday that it raised about NIS 18 million from the sale of shares, and an additional NIS 21 million from options.

“The purpose of the financing is to enable the company to compete in the largest electrification tender in Europe, which is taking place in Sweden and which the company is part of after successfully passing all the preconditions for the tender,” said Electreon CEO Oren Ezer.

Electreon said the funds will go toward preparations ahead of the startup’s bid for a tender by the Swedish Transport Administration to build the country’s first permanent electric highway for heavy transport trucks between Hallsberg and Örebro. The startup said that it would be the world’s longest electric road.

The financing comes after Electreon passed the pre-screening stage for participating in the tender together with Cobra, a Spanish construction company specializing in electrical works and civil engineering. The Swedish government is investing in the creation of electric roads as part of a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from freight traffic.

Founded in 2013, Electreon has been developing a system to charge EVs while in full motion using copper coils laid beneath the asphalt to transfer energy from the electricity grid to the road and to manage communication with approaching vehicles. Receivers are installed on the floor of the vehicles to transmit the energy directly to the engine and the battery while the vehicles are on the go, doing away with concerns about limited driving range and short battery lifespans.

A truck in Gotland, Sweden being charged while driving with above and underground managements units on both sides, a wireless charging system developed by Israeli company ElectReon. (ElectReon)

The Swedish government is expected to announce the results of the electric road tender at the end of the second quarter of 2023. After selecting the winner in the tender for the electric road, another separate tender is expected to be held for the maintenance and operation of the electric road for a period of 15 years. The Swedish government has set a 2025 deadline for the completion of the design and construction of the electric road.

In Sweden, Electreon has previously already won a tender to install a 1.65-kilometer (1 mile)  electric stretch used by a bus and a truck on the 4.1-kilometer route between the airport and town center of Visby on Gotland Island.

Based in the northern Israeli community of Beit Yannai, the startup also has a number of running partnerships in Europe to pilot its smart road tech in Germany, France and Belgium. In December, Electreon announced that its technology will be deployed in the first-ever public wireless road project in Germany to power a public electric bus in a deal worth €3.2 million.

About a year ago, the startup won a bid to build an electric road system (ERS) on a public road in Detroit, the long-standing US automotive capital — dubbed the Motor City — as part of a program called the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot announced by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The program aims to test electrified roads that will hopefully eventually lead to further adoption of EVs and advance environmental sustainability, according to her office.

Electreon also has a running partnership with the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, which expanded to include large-scale commercial deployment of its wireless charging infrastructure to power electric buses in Tel Aviv together with the Dan Bus Company.

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