As a solution to electric vehicles running out of juice on the road and for the time they take for charging, a road that charges EVs on the go had been in the pipeline for long now. But what seemed like a very difficult feat to achieve has been brought to real life. It will, however, not be a regular looking road that magically charges the batteries on your electric car. But a Scandinavian country has opened the world’s first public road that charges electric vehicles while driving. These EVs will be able to connect to an electric rail that’s embedded into the road.
Sweden has a set a goal for itself of completely eliminating internal combustion engines that use fossil fuel by 2030. And so, an electrified road is one of the many efforts the Swedish Transport Administration plans to take towards the achievement of the target.
The electrified road, a project called ‘eRoadArlanda’, uses a movable arm that is embedded into tracks in the middle of the road. The system was built to with the capacity to cater to large locomotives, but it can also charge cars and buses.
Sensors on the vehicles detect an approaching electrified rail and an arm lowers from underneath the vehicle and attaches to the rail. The arm has been designed to be flexible so that the car has the freedom to move around. The length of the electrified road is 2 km for now.
Besides charging on the go, another benefit of the eRoad will be that when they are widespread across the country, carmakers can reduce the size of the batteries – which will, in turn, make them lighter – since they won’t need as much charge. In the long run, the system can assist in reducing the manufacturing of Evs.
The Swedish Transport Administration has also assured that the tech will be safe for use in the long run as well. It will be serviced and drained at regular intervals to avoid any major issues from rain or snow.
The electrified road project has cost the government $7.7 million, but they choose to implement the system across the country, the total cost of building the electric railroad will come down to $1 million per kilometre. For now, the road will be tested for two years by a truck carrying a payload to determine how it delivers under various weather conditions and traffic.