Sweden trials electric road that charges EVs as they drive

Electric bus on electric road with charging rail installed
Image: EVolution Road

A new trial in Sweden is investigating the viability of electric roads charging EVs as they drive.

EVolution Road has been commissioned by the Swedish Transport Administration to build a test and demonstration section for electric roads.

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The aim is to create more knowledge about electric roads and to investigate the potential for electric roads as a supplement in a future fossil-free transport system. The installation of the electric road started in 2020 and the project will continue until the spring of 2024.

Charging the vehicle while driving eliminates the need to stop to recharge the batteries, saving time. Electric roads also significantly reduce the vehicle’s battery size. This leads to advantages such as less environmental impact and lighter vehicles that allow you to bring more goods or passengers. In other words, electric road is a solution with high potential as it simultaneously:

  • uses existing road infrastructure
  • improves energy efficiency, as the vehicles become lighter with smaller batteries
  • the electricity can be produced from a range of sustainable sources such as solar, wind and hydropower.

In the EVolution Road project, a kilometre-long stretch of road is equipped with charging rails that can automatically charge the batteries of electric vehicles—both when they are driving and when they are stationary. It is a so-called conductive ground-based solution, where a collector under the vehicle makes direct contact with the road’s charging rail, thus power can be transferred and the vehicle’s batteries can be charged. A bus that has been charged for one kilometre on the electric road can then drive about three kilometres on the charge.

The tests will last one week each month, primarily an electric bus that will be test driven. At the side of the road there is a station for measurement and inspection when the tests are in progress. The electric road is being built in the bus lane on Getingevägen and ordinary traffic is expected to flow undisturbed during the test period.

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During the demonstration period, the project must test, measure, analyse and then report the results to the Swedish Transport Administration. The demonstration stretch is located on Getingevägen in central Lund. In two phases, variants of the same technology are tested.

In the project, two different variants of the same technology are tested. In the first phase, a charging rail that is placed on top of the road is tested and in phase two, a charging rail that is submerged in the road is tested.

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