Volvo To Test Electric Roads For Electric Buses

3 years ago by Mark Kane 3

Volvo Plug-In Hybrid Bus

Volvo Plug-In Hybrid Bus

Current collector on the roof of Volvo Plug-In Hybrid Bus

Current collector on the roof of Volvo Plug-In Hybrid Bus for non-wireless charging

Volvo Group announced that next year it will take the next step in its development program of electrified buses.

For approximately one year now in Gothenburg, Sweden, three Volvo Plug-In Hybrid Buses have been runing on 7-km long route taking charge for 6-8 minutes at the end of the line 60.

Now, in collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration, Volvo would like to add an electric road in Gothenburg, which will enable the bus to charge wirelessly when driving.

“With the use of an electric road, vehicle batteries would continuously be charged wirelessly during operation by transferring energy from the electricity grid to a vehicle, instead of charging the bus while it is standing still at charging stations. The technology being studied is called inductive charging, whereby the energy is transferred wirelessly to the underside of the vehicle by equipment built into the road.”

The new line, called ElectriCity, will launch in 2015 between Chalmers and Lindholmen.

Because this is just test project, the electrified road will be short – just 300 to 500 meters along the route.

Cordless charging of Volvo C30 Electric

Cordless charging of Volvo C30 Electric

Volvo already has some experience in wireless charging from its C30 Electric test program, but that was a stationary application.

“The Volvo Group will develop a detailed proposal within the framework of innovation procurement from the Swedish Transport Administration. The proposal entails building a road section equipped with wireless charge technology and developing vehicles that will automatically charge their batteries when passing such a road section. The road will be built along a suitable bus line in central Gothenburg and be tested for public transport. Experiences from such a test track will provide valuable knowledge for future political and industrial decisions for establishing electric roads.”

Niklas Gustavsson, Executive Vice President, Corporate Sustainability & Public Affairs of the Volvo Group, stated:

“Vehicles capable of being charged directly from the road during operation could become the next pioneering step in the development towards reduced environmental impact, and this is fully in line with our vision of becoming the world leader in sustainable transport solutions. Close cooperation between society and industry is needed for such a development to be possible and we look forward to investigating the possibilities together with the City of Gothenburg,”

“We are working on both a broad and a deep basis to develop the technology of tomorrow. Electric roads are another important part of the puzzle in our aim of achieving transport solutions that will minimize the impact on the environment.”

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3 responses to "Volvo To Test Electric Roads For Electric Buses"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    wow.
    This is becoming a reality sooner than I thought.

  2. lzl says:

    Gotta hand it to the Scandinavians. But just to add though, electric roads already exists in Sweden, they’re called ‘trams’.

  3. TomArt says:

    I thought there were enough problems with coupling efficiency in stationary applications, where the vehicle’s coils had to be lined up with the charger’s coils within a fairly narrow tolerance. How are they doing this for roads with any reasonable expectation of success?