Swedish e-cars take a power trip
The future for electric vehicles just got brighter after Sweden opened its first electrified road near Stockholm this spring. A 2 km stretch of electric rail embedded in a public road recharges the batteries of e-cars and e-trucks as they drive on it.
Building the eRoadArlanda: the government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map for future expansion. Photograph: Joakim Kröger/eRoadArlanda
Someone at the Swedish National Road Agency truly had a brainstorm when they hit on this bright idea. Not only does it reduce fossil-fuel use in the transport sector, it tackles two key barriers to e-car adoption: battery performance and cost. The Swedish government has already drafted a plan to expand this electric experiment nationwide. And it’s in talks with Berlin about a future network.
The electrified road is divided into 50 m sections, with an individual section powered only when a vehicle is above it. When a vehicle stops, the current is disconnected. So as an e-motorist you’re only charged for the costs you incurred during your own journey. A great boost for the ‘user pays’ principle.
If this dynamic charging scheme is widely adopted, people won’t have to worry about running out of ‘fuel’ on long journeys. And e-cars and e-trucks will be able to run on smaller batteries, which would cost less to produce.
Electrified roads could revolutionise the public transport plans of major cities too. At a cost of EUR 1 million per kilometre, the costs of road electrification could be 50 times lower than the costs of constructing an urban tram line. Together with our partners in local municipalities who are keen to make their mobility policies more sustainable, Q-Park is keeping its eye on this road.