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Mobil­i­ty with Atti­tude (MWA) — Swe­den tests roads that charge elec­tric vehi­cles as they dri­ve

Accord­ing to Reuters, an elec­tri­fied road in Swe­den that is the first in the world to charge vehi­cles as they dri­ve along is show­ing promise and could poten­tial­ly help cut the high cost of elec­tric cars, project back­ers Vat­ten­fall and Elways said.

The state-fund­ed project, named eRoad­Ar­lan­da and cost­ing about 50 mil­lion crowns ($5.82 mil­lion), uses a mod­i­fied elec­tric truck that moves car­go from Stockholm’s Arlan­da air­port to Postnord’s near­by logis­tics hub to test the tech­nol­o­gy.
A elec­tri­fied rail embed­ded in the tar­mac of the 2‑km-long (1.24 miles) road charges the truck auto­mat­i­cal­ly as it trav­els above it. A mov­able arm attached to the truck detects the rail’s loca­tion in the road, and charg­ing stops when the vehi­cle is over­tak­ing or com­ing to a halt.
The sys­tem also cal­cu­lates the vehicle’s ener­gy con­sump­tion, which enables elec­tric­i­ty costs to be deb­it­ed per vehi­cle and user.
Elways’ chief exec­u­tive Gun­nar Asplund said the charg­ing while dri­ving would mean elec­tric cars no longer need big bat­ter­ies — which can be half the cost of an elec­tric car — to ensure they have enough pow­er to trav­el a use­ful dis­tance.
“The tech­nol­o­gy offers infi­nite range — range anx­i­ety dis­ap­pears” he said. “Elec­tri­fied roads will allow small­er bat­ter­ies and can make elec­tric cars even cheap­er than fos­sil fuel ones.”
Asplund said the Swedish state, which is fund­ing the project, was hap­py with the results so far, with the only issue — now resolved — hav­ing been dirt accu­mu­lat­ing on the rail.
Elways has patent­ed the elec­tric rail tech­nol­o­gy and is part of a Swedish con­sor­tium back­ing the eRoad­Ar­lan­da project that also includes infra­struc­ture com­pa­ny NCC and util­i­ty Vat­ten­fall, which pro­vides pow­er from the nation­al grid to the rail.
“Such roads will allow (elec­tric vehi­cles) to move long dis­tances with­out big, cost­ly and heavy bat­ter­ies,” said Markus Fis­ch­er, a Vat­ten­fall spokesman, adding that installing the arm in new cars would be cheap­er than retro­fitting cur­rent mod­els.
Vat­ten­fall said in a state­ment elec­tri­fied roads could reduce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions from lor­ries, which account for about 25 per­cent of total road traf­fic emis­sions.
“The invest­ment cost per kilo­me­ter is esti­mat­ed to be less than that of using over­head lines, as is the impact on the land­scape,” it added.
Test­ing at eRoad­Ar­lan­da start­ed in April and will last at least 12 months so that the elec­tric truck can use it under dif­fer­ent weath­er con­di­tions.
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