This Swedish Road Charges EVs as They Drive

Sweden has opened what could fairly be described as the ultimate solution for electric vehicle range anxiety: a road that can charge the battery in an EV as it's being driven.

Dubbed eRoadArlanda, the two-kilometre stretch of powered roadway runs just outside Stockholm Arlanda Airport. That location is no accident: the eRoad is being used to test trucks moving goods in and out of one of the airport’s cargo terminals.

The 18-ton trucks are fitted with a ski-like appendage that drops down from the undercarriage to make contact with an electrical rail built flush with the asphalt surface. The rail is only a couple of inches wide, so the pickup can move side-to-side to adjust for the truck's position in its lane. If the driver moves to pass a slower vehicle, the pickup automatically retracts.

While the full 2-km section of road is electrified, the rail is divided into sections, and only the section that's in contact with the truck is powered. The road calculates the energy consumption of the vehicle connected to it with the eventual aim of being able to debit the cost of the energy from the car's user.

The projects proponents say installing a charging rail in the road is better than overhead wires (like those use for streetcars in Toronto, for example) because it's easier to adapt for a variety of vehicle types (cars, buses and heavy trucks) and the lack of poles reduces visual obstructions for the driver. And, apparently, as much as a kilometre's worth of this rail can be installed in an hour, though we assume that's after the necessary wiring is in place under the asphalt.

To build the eRoad, the Swedish Transportation Administration and the Swedish Energy Agency worked with private industry as part of the country's goal of "creating a fossil-free infrastructure" by 2030.

Sweden's Electric Avenue 5/16/2018 1:56:38 PM