By 2030, Sweden aims to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by 70 percent. Days ago, the country took a big step toward achieving its goal.
Sweden is now the first country in the world to have an electrified road that recharges the batteries of vehicles driving on it. Electric rail has been embedded into the nearly 2 km (1.2 miles) of public road which is located near Stockholm.
According to The Guardian, this is just the first stretch of road intended to be built. The government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map which outlines future expansion. By embedding electric rail into the road, Sweden seeks to tackle the problem of keeping electric vehicles charged.
How does it work? When a car or truck passes over the road, energy is transferred from two tracks of rail in the road via a movable arm which is attached to the bottom of the vehicle. Should the vehicle overtake, the arm is automatically disconnected.
Each section of the electrified road is divided into 50 meter sections. When a vehicle stops, the current is disconnected. The newly-developed system is capable of calculating the energy consumption of the vehicle. With this information, electricity costs can be debited to the user of each vehicle. This innovative method of charging means a vehicle’s batteries can be smaller. Additionally, the costs of both manufacturing and upkeep are reduced.
According to Hans Säll, chief executive of the eRoadArlanda, both current vehicles and roadways can be adapted to take advantage of this technology. In fact, he’s hoping exactly this occurs, as Sweden has roughly half a million kilometers of roadway.
“If we electrify 20,000km of highways that will definitely be be enough,” said Säll. “The distance between two highways is never more than 45km and electric cars can already travel that distance without needing to be recharged. Some believe it would be enough to electrify 5,000km.”
Source: The Guardian