Listen to this article World’s First Permanent Electrified Road For EV Charging While Driving Under Construction In Sweden
Sweden Pioneers World’s First Permanent Electrified Road for EVs
As countries rush to prepare for fossil fuel-free mobility in the wake of the EU’s landmark law requiring all new cars to have zero CO2 emissions from 2035, Sweden has taken the lead with its electrified road system (ERS). The first of its kind in the world, this e-motorway is set to be the precursor to an expansion of 3,000 km of electric roads in Sweden by 2045.
Currently in the procurement stage, the project aims to be built by 2025. The chosen motorway to be electrified is the E20, which connects logistic hubs between Hallsberg and Örebro.
The planners have yet to decide on the charging method for E20, but they have three options: catenary system, inductive system, and conductive system.
The catenary system is solely for heavy-duty vehicles, as it uses overhead wires to provide electricity to a special kind of bus or tram. Conductive charging works like a charger pad for smartphones, and the special electric vehicles have a pad or plate on the road which wirelessly charges the vehicle when it is on top of it. The inductive charging system uses equipment buried beneath the road that sends electricity to a coil in the electric vehicle, which in turn charges the battery.
Dynamic Charging Benefits
Experts say dynamic charging allows vehicles to travel longer distances with smaller batteries and avoid waiting at charging stations. While much of the ERS focuses on trucks, a recent study suggested that private cars could also benefit. The study simulated the movement patterns of 412 privately driven cars on parts of Swedish national and European roads and found that combining home charging with dynamic charging could reduce the size of the battery by up to 70%.
Challenges and Potential
Jan Pettersson, Director of Strategic Development at Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration, believes that electrification is the way forward for decarbonising the transport sector. However, he notes that heavy vehicles present a “special challenge” for charging, as a full battery solution with static charging alone would require vehicles to carry a huge amount of batteries. Researchers suggest that not all roads in Sweden need to be electrified; doing so on only 25% of all roads would be sufficient for the ERS to work.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Sweden has partnered with Germany and France to exchange experiences through authority and research collaborations on electric roads. Germany and Sweden have had demonstration facilities on public roads for several years, and France plans to procure a pilot section with an electric road. Other countries such as Italy, the UK, the United States, and India are also doubling down on building ERS systems.
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