The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden.
About 2km (1.2 miles) of electric rail has been embedded in a public road near Stockholm, but the government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map for future expansion.
As the vehicle moves over the rail, the arm detects its location and moves into contact with it. When overtaking, the arm automatically raises.
The rail is connected to the power grid and divided into sections that are only powered when vehicles move over them.
Energy consumption of each vehicle passing over the rails is calculated by the system, enabling electricity costs to be charged to each user.
The electrified road is being trialed using electrified trucks that have been developed as part of the project.
Sweden’s target of achieving independence from fossil fuel by 2030 requires a 70% reduction in the transport sector.
The technology behind the electrification of the road linking Stockholm Arlanda airport to a logistics site outside the capital city aims to solve the thorny problems of keeping electric vehicles charged, and the manufacture of their batteries affordable.
Energy is transferred from two tracks of rail in the road via a movable arm attached to the bottom of a vehicle. The design is not dissimilar to that of a Scalextric track, although should the vehicle overtake, the arm is automatically disconnected.