An electrified road in Sweden – that is the first in the world to charge vehicles as they drive along – could potentially help cut the high cost of electric cars, according to project backers Vattenfall and Elways.
The 1.2mile stretch of “road” or electrical rail, named eRoadArlanda, has been built into a public road just outside Stockholm, The electrified road works by transferring energy from the rail through a moveable arm on the bottom of an electric car or truck.
The rail, which debuted publicly in April, is connected to the power grid and divided into sections that are only powered when vehicles move over them.
Energy consumption of each vehicle passing over the rails is calculated by the system, enabling electricity costs to be charged to each user.
The state-funded project, and costing about 50 million crowns ($5.82 million), uses a modified electric truck that moves cargo from Stockholm’s Arlanda airport to Postnord’s nearby logistics hub to test the technology.
The system also calculates the vehicle’s energy consumption, which enables electricity costs to be debited per vehicle and user.
Elways chief executive Gunnar Asplund said the charging while driving would mean electric cars no longer need big batteries – which can be half the cost of an electric car – to ensure they have enough power to travel a useful distance.
In an interview with Reuters, he said: “The technology offers infinite range – range anxiety disappears. Electrified roads will allow smaller batteries and can make electric cars even cheaper than fossil fuel ones.”
Electrified roads could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from lorries, which account for about 25% of total road traffic emissions.
Plans are in place to expand the project throughout other parts of the country and the world. South Korea and China have also been investing in solar-powered electromagnetic roads which recharge cars and trucks wirelessly to charge of EV batteries and reduce carbon emissions.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea