Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sweden opens the world's first electric highway

Por Rory

Drivers of electric vehicles in Sweden will soon be able to recharge their cars as they drive, after the Scandinavian nation unveiled the world's first "electric road". The project supported by the government is in the initial stages, and until now comprises only 2 kilometers of a public road, where an electric lane was installed in the middle of a traffic lane.

The route, about 2 kilometers, will allow cars and electric trucks to be recharged while traveling along the road using an innovative method of energy transfer, local media reported. The section is located just outside Stockholm Arlanda Airport and was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by the Minister of Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, and the Director General of the Transport Administration, Lena Erixon.

The system consists of a device that fits in the lower part of the chassis of the cars and that connects to the extensive electric rail in the middle of the road. The connector detects the slot on the road and automatically descends to the track. At the end of the journey, the mechanism ascends in the same way. Its operation is similar to that of miniature electric traction cars (Scalextric type) that run on a slot that serves as a guide and receptacle.

According to Gunnar Asplund, developer of the idea, this alternative allows solving one of the main disadvantages of electric cars: the short duration of the battery and the prolonged charging time. In addition, it could significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a much lower construction cost than a normal urban stretch. For its part, the consortium responsible for the construction of the electric section believes that similar technologies could enter commercial use in a period of 5 to 10 years. "Every government that wants to have a fossil fuel-free transportation system has to do something, and it's really hard to think about achieving it without electric roads," the company says.

The eRoadArlanda consortium that is behind the project argues that it will fulfill its promise to launch a relatively cheap and easy solution to solve the cost problems of electric cars and range anxiety, by allowing manufacturers to reduce the size of the battery. So far, the small eRoad test section, which is on a route connecting the international freight airport of Stockholm Arlanda with a distribution center in Rosersberg, is only being used by electric postal trucks belonging to PostNord.

But at a cost of 1 million euros per kilometer, the cost of extending the technology to more roads and highways in Sweden, and to the public that drives electric cars, is estimated to be 50 times less than that required to build an urban tram line. It is also believed that it is easier and cheaper to install, both on roads and in cars, than to charge by induction or the aerial cable system with which Sweden experimented two years ago. Hans Säll, executive director of the eRoadArlanda consortium, said both vehicles and existing roads could be adapted to use the technology. But deployment on the nation's roads would be limited mainly to their roads.

"If we electrify 20,000km of roads, that will definitely be enough," he told The Guardian. "The distance between two roads never exceeds 45 km and electric cars can travel that distance without needing to recharge. Some believe that it would be enough to electrify 5,000 km." For those concerned about the safety of the system, Säll says it is almost as dangerous as a wall outlet. "Five or six centimeters down is where the electricity is. But if it floods the road with salt water, then we discover that the level of electricity on the surface is only one volt. You could walk barefoot," he explained. Meanwhile, it is said that the Swedish government is in talks with Berlin about a future network.