First electric road for cars and trucks rolls out

April 13, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
If you liked the Scalextric toy electric cars, then a Swedish consortium has built a real world version for the first commercial electric road system.

The eRoadArlanda runs for 2km from the airport to the Rosersberg logistics area outside Stockholm, and supports both electric trucks and cars. The system, developed by Elways in Sweden, uses a track buried in the road to carry the current which is picked by a wire ‘broom’ retrofitted to the vehicle. The electrified road will be used by electric trucks developed as part of the project over the last two years.

The brushes only connect to the road to charge and the broom moves away from the rail at junctions, for example.  This allows both commercial and passenger vehicles to be recharged while driving (compared to just trucks from high level electric cables) and will allow existing public roads to be electrified, says the consortium, as 1km can be laid in an hour. Alongside Elways the consortium includes road builder NCC, the local postal service PostNord and DAF trucks.

Electrifying the 20,000 km of roads in Sweden with conductive feeds is expected to cost about SEK 80 billion (£6bn, $9bn) but would lead to potential energy savings of SEK 32bn ($3.9bn) per year. If all of the cars in Sweden were to be electrified and powered solely by electricity, about 25 TWh of electricity would be required. The county currently consumes about 155 TWh of electricity, so this would be an increase of 16 percent, which roughly corresponds to current plans to increase wind-power production.

“One of the most important issues of our time is the question of how to make fossil-free road transportation a reality. We now have a solution that will make this possible, which is amazing. Sweden is at the cutting edge of this technology, which we now hope to introduce in other areas of the country and the world,” says Hans Säll, Chairman of the eRoadArlanda consortium and Business Development Director at NCC.

www.elways.se


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