Sweden is testing world’s first electric road that can charge vehicles on the go

Humans have been burning fossil fuels for energy for many years now. However, we are all well aware that it is not good for the environment. Hence, in an attempt to eradicate the dependency on fossil fuels by 2030 and make electric cars a convenience for people, Sweden invented the world’s first electrified road that is able to recharge cars and truck batteries on the go.

The Swedish Transport Administration has opened the 2 km long road outside of Stockholm, Sweden linking Stockholm Arlanda airport to a logistics site. The eRoadArlanda project began with the purpose of making electric vehicles mainstream and to do that people had to find them accessible and convenient.

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Image: © Erik Mårtensson/eRoadArlanda

To understand the project, we need to delve into the technology behind it. Vehicles on this road charge via an attached arm on the underside of the car, which connects to two parallel tracks of rail on the road that contain electrical charge. One may think that the attached arm is a source of inconvenience. However, it is retractable and only comes out when the sensors attached to it detect the rail. Furthermore, there are divisions along the road at 50-meters and current flows through each section only when a car is above it and disconnects whenever a car stops.

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Image: © Erik Mårtensson/eRoadArlanda

This method of charging, as compared to roadside charging posts, means we can use smaller car batteries, which subsequently reduce car costs. Moreover, the entire system is so efficient that it can calculate how much energy a vehicle consumes and draws the exact amount of electricity cost per vehicle.

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Image: © Erik Mårtensson/eRoadArlanda

The brains behind the project also guarantee that any living organism can walk over the electric road, with ease. To ensure safety, they earthed the surface to prevent shocks and placed the conductors five to six centimeters deep within the ground. Even the rain cannot cause any harm since drainage systems are present along the road and the contact arm has been designed to push any obstacles like water, pebbles and gravels, out of the way.

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Image: © Erik Mårtensson/eRoadArlanda

If this road is a success, the Swedish Transport Administration plans to extend the project to over 20,000 km length of roadways. The estimated cost of the entire scale-up would be around $9.5 Billion USD which would redeem itself over the course of 3 years. Sounds like a smart investment!

eRoadArlanda 1

Image: © Erik Mårtensson/eRoadArlanda

Source: The Guardian

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