Sweden Looks To Make Conductive Charging Roads Reality

MAY 11 2018 BY MARK KANE 9

A new unique project was recently launched in Sweden, where a group of companies built a 2 km (1.2 mile) electric rail embedded in the road for powering vehicles.

The eRoadArlanda project currently uses truck with a special moveable arm that automatically detects the rail and connects for powering the vehicle (and charging).

eRoadArlanda project in Sweden – rail installation

“Approximately two kilometers of electric rail have been installed along public road 893, between the Arlanda Cargo Terminal and the Rosersberg logistics area outside Stockholm. The electrified road works by transferring energy to the vehicle from a rail in the road through a movable arm. The arm detects the location of the rail in the road and as long as the vehicle is above the rail, the contact will be in a lowered position. The electrified road will be used by electric trucks developed as part of the project.”

According to the eRoadArlanda, the system could work with big commercial vehicles, as well as in passenger cars.

See Also – Fully Charged Tests Dynamic Electric Vehicle Charging – Video

As in the case of many other concepts, the question is the overall costs compared to EVs with longer-range and fast chargers along major routes. It should be cheaper than dynamic wireless charging though.

Electric truck in eRoadArlanda project in Sweden – conductive recharging while driving

““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.

Tomas Eneroth, Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, and Lena Erixon, Director General of the Swedish Transport Administration, were on hand at the formal inauguration ceremony for the road.

“It is important to break new ground when it comes to climate-smart road transport. That’s why the Swedish Transport Administration supports innovative development projects that contribute to long-term, sustainable solutions,” says Lena Erixon, Director General of the Swedish Transport Administration.

About eRoadArlanda
The eRoadArlanda project is working to make electrified roads of the future a reality and is part of the Swedish Transport Administration’s pre-commercial procurement of innovation. The solution is based on conductive technology that uses an electric rail installed in roads to power and recharge vehicles during their journey. The project is being managed by a consortium comprising the following members: Elways, NCC, PostNord, ABT-bolagen, Vattenfall, DAF, KTH, Kilenkrysset, VTI, E-traction, GCT, KTH, Bilprovningen, Airport City Stockholm, Sigtuna Municipality, Swedavia, Arlanda Stad Holding, TraningPartner, FirstHotel, Frost Produktion, SMM Dulevo and Sandströms Elfirma.”

Elways – conductive recharging while driving

Categories: Charging, General

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9 Comments on "Sweden Looks To Make Conductive Charging Roads Reality"

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Good idea, this could be used for buses as well.

This is a fairly simple and cheap way to power the trucks, buses and trucks. It will be interesting to see what the commercial tests shows and if they dare to try a long stretch soon.

It would also give some redundancy to future autonomous vehicles. Follow the line is pretty simple, especially when you have a physical connection to the line. 😛

Until trucks and buses go electric biogas and HVO100 will do the trick.

The charging technology uses direct physical contact between the charging arm and the charging rail in the road. Sweden has problems with ice buildup preventing train track switches from functioning during its long, snowy winters.

Subway trains that get their power from a power rail go to great lengths to keep people away from the high-voltage rail. The charging rail in a roadway would need both high-voltage and ground connections in the rail that couldn’t short-circuit when flooded with water.

I can’t imagine how this could work well. However, Swedes are smart and resourceful, so maybe these problems have been solved.

Is there any info on:
1) Expected sustained charging rate? What voltage?
2) Charging losses
3) What happens if person/animal touches the rail?
4) Cost of vehicle-side arm
5) Cost per km of rail?

More generally, what problem is this intended to solve with current BEV designs? (dis)advantages?

Trials like this are designed to answer your questions.

Most of these systems only energize sections during charging. Losses are minimal for conductive systems. The key to cost is getting charge rate high enough that you only need to wire 5-10% of the road. At that point the economics are overwhelming.

A semi only needs a $20k, ~150 kWh battery for both coast-to-coast and local operation. It would be cheaper upfront and haul higher payload than a diesel. It would be MUCH cheaper upfront and haul higher payload than a big battery long haul semi like the Tesla.

Cars could also go coast-to-coast with a ~30 kWh battery.

1) 750 V, 250 A so just under 200 kW. 2) Nearly none, no different from other conductive charging 3) People are not walking in the middle of highways. But the energized parts are down under and inside the rail. No animal could get to it and a human would have to work hard on their knees with the right tools to get to it. It is also only energized when a vehicle is on it and then for just 50 m at a time (a truck being up to 24m not leaving much room for any animal or human anyway) 4) Cost of buying and mounting the vehicle-side arm is supposed to be ~$4k today. It could probably be cut to at least half that if the solution gets popular. 5) Cost per km of rail is $1 million per km for these few km and ~$400-500k per km on a larger scale (with VAT and Swedish labor costs). 6) How fast can they put down these rails in to the road? At a speed of about 1 km per hour. What problems in the BEV design? Go from MWh sized batteries to 30-100 kWh batteries. Saving cost, weight,… Read more »

I don’t know what the roads are like in your countries, but in Australia they become beaten up pretty quickly. There is already enough opportunities to cause damage to the roads, this just seems like something else that will cause damage.
Other comments about people/animals touching the rails, environmental issues, to me it sounds like a good idea, but in practice I think it will be a bad idea.
KISS principle would seem to indicate a battery large enough to do the majority of driving and recharge infrastructure as you travel along, pretty much what we do in our ICE at the moment. Imagine if someone suggested a pipe line along the road that pumped petrol/diesel into the car as you drive? Sounds like a good idea, but not really practical.

Should be working great when it rains…

It does. It’s been tested for 7 years during all conditions.