Sweden Opens World’s First Road That Charges EV’s On The Go
If you live in Sweden, you can now charge your electric car as you drive. Sweden has opened up what The Guardian is calling the world’s first stretch of electrified road. While it’s just a proof of concept for now, this 1.2-mile stretch of electrified road has the capability to provide an EV with charge as it moves along.
How it works is pretty simple. There’s a metal strip embedded in the road that provides power. An electric vehicle will need a movable arm to deploy and contact the strip, which will provide the circuit necessary to charge the car’s batteries. If the car changes lanes, the arm disconnects. Hmm, I guess we all need to invest in a moveable arm.
“There is no electricity on the surface,” Hans Säll, chief executive of eRoadArlanda, explained to the Guardian. “There are two tracks, just like an outlet in the wall. Five or six centimeters down is where the electricity is. But if you flood the road with salt water, then we have found that the electricity level at the surface is just one volt. You could walk on it barefoot.”
Each kilometer of road cost about $1.2 million. The system keeps track of each vehicle’s use and charges the driver accordingly.
At the moment, Sweden maintains about half a million kilometers of roadways, of which 20,000 are highways. “If we electrify 20,000 kilometers of highways that will definitely be enough,” Säll said. “The distance between two highways is never more than 45 kilometers, and electric cars can already travel that distance without needing to be recharged. Some believe it would be enough to electrify 5,000 kilometers.”
The company has been testing the system in Sweden and the U.S., with more trials planned for German highways in 2019.