This piece of news is not a follow up to tram-ish electric highway we reported last year. It is also in Sweden, though. As you may have already noticed, this electric road, or electrified road as it rightly is, is not an eyesore like the one that has overhead electric lines. In fact, unless you stick you face onto the road, you will hardly notice that it has an electric rail embedded in the road. In any case, this is likely the best solution until wireless road charging becomes a reality.
Anyways, this is it. The “world’s first electrified road” is open for business in Sweden, albeit for just a short 1.2 miles (2 km), and it will, for now, use by electric trucks developed as part of the project. Spearheaded by eRoadArlanda consortium, this electrified road is located along road 893 between the Arlanda Cargo Terminal and the Rosesberg logistics and like the overhead charging solution, it will require vehicles to make contact with the electric rail by physical means.
In this instance, it would be a movable arm under the vehicle. When the arm detects the presence of the rail, it will lower itself to make contact with rail to begin the charging process. If all these (you know, stuff like under car contact and embedded electric rail) sounds all too familiar, perhaps it is because it shares the same working principles with the race track toy cars. So yeah, the eRoadArlanda EV-charging Electrified Road is pretty much a Scalextric realized in life-size.
The differences are, the rail does not power the vehicle directly; it charges the vehicle’s onboard battery and the EV can keep going on even if it strays off the charging rail. And if that happens, the arm will automatically disconnects, so as not to damage the contact. Moreover, electricity is only fed to the vehicle only if it is moving. Obviously, 2 km isn’t going to solve the range issue. Besides, I am pretty damn sure that EVs can easily make well over that distance.
What concern EV owners is, going the distance, like hundreds of kms on end. Well, for that, the Swedish government is planning to have 20,000 km electrified highways which eRoadArlanda CEO Hans Säll reckon will be enough. eRoadArlanda said that its solution is both sustainable and cost-effective as far as electrifying the roads is concern. According to a report, this system will cost €1million per km which is 50 times cheaper over building an urban tram line. Hmmm, why do I have a feeling that this will be the future instead of wireless charging roads?
Featured image by Nikkei.