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Sweden Opens World’s First Electrified Road

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Sweden has set the ambitious goal of having a 100% fossil fuel free fleet of autos by 2030. To this end, the Swedish Transport Administration has initiated a variety of projects that are testing out new technologies to help the country gracefully shift into this electric vehicle (EV) reality.

One of these projects is “eRoadArlanda,” the world’s first electrified road. The road features an electric track built into the center of the lane. When an EV approaches the track, a sensor on the vehicle detects the track and automatically triggers a movable arm to extend from underneath the vehicle. This arm extension locks onto the track while the vehicle charges. It was designed to be flexible, enabling the vehicle to move around on the road without disconnecting.

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The project poses a viable solution to one of the major concerns that EV owners have, which is how long they’ll be able to travel before needing to recharge. “Today you’re not 100% sure how far you can go with your battery but if you have a combination of electric roads you will feel a little bit more confident that you’ll get where you want to go,” said Hans Säll, chairman of the eRoadArlanda.

The technology would also mean that EV batteries could be smaller, which would lighten the overall weight of EVs. If Sweden implements these roads at a widespread level, this will lower the manufacturing cost of the road, while increasing sustainability.

The rail only activates when it comes in contact with an EV’s extension arm, remaining inactivated when it comes in contact with non-EVs. It’s also safe for animals and pedestrians since the rail itself responds only to EVs.

We anticipate more details about this innovative project as the Swedish government continues testing this trial road for the next couple of years.

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News Source: CNN