As part of Sweden’s drive to achieve a fossil fuel-free transport system by 2030, the government recently completed a section of a highway near Stockholm that can charge electric vehicles while driving.
The initiative, called eRoadArlanda, uses technology similar to overhead wires that charge electric buses and trolleybuses but is integrated into the road.
When a retrofitted vehicle detects that it is on an electric track, an arm is lowered onto the track to charge the car’s battery.
eRoadArlanda claims that the track works regardless of weather conditions, including rain or snow. While the system is designed to supply heavy truck loads, it can also load cars and buses.
The cost of the road will be borne by the billing to the driver for the amount of electrical energy used. eRoadArlanda has completed a 1.25-mile test section of the electrified highway on a public road and plans to expand to other regions of the country.
Electrifying roads in Sweden for EVs
The electric road project by eRoadArlanda, which allows modified electric vehicles to charge while driving, has been completed and activated.
An 18-ton electric truck is now able to recharge while in motion using the conductive electric rail installed on the road. The project aims to transition to a fossil fuel-free transportation system in Sweden by 2030.
The road is set up to bill drivers for the electricity used while driving, which raises questions on its implementation for public use.
The project started in 2013 with a focus on creating a platform for electrifying larger transport routes in Sweden.
Hans Säll, executive director of the eRoadArlanda consortium responsible for the initiative, said that both existing vehicles and roads can be modified to make use of this technology. Sweden has approximately 500,000 kilometers of roads, of which 20,000 kilometers are motorways, according to Säll.
“If we electrify 20,000 kilometers of roads, surely that will be enough”, he remarked. “The distance between two highways never exceeds 45 kilometers, and electric vehicles can already travel that distance without recharging. Some people believe that electrifying 5,000 kilometers would be enough.”
Electric road to be constructed by 2025
Construction of a new electric road that charges electric vehicles as they drive on it is set to begin in 2022. The road is not expected to be ready for full use until 2025. If the project is successful, the technology will be more widely used from 2027.
Although battery technology has improved considerably, electric road systems will still be beneficial for range extension by on-the-move charging.
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