A section of road has been electrified outside of Stockholm to test battery-powered electric trucks as part of the Swedish government's efforts to make the country completely carbon neutral by 2050. It is described as a full, human-sized slot car system for the road.
Similar to the way slot toy cars work, the eRoadArlanda project has built a system where a full sized truck will get power from a rail built into the road and a metal drop-down from the truck's undercarriage will run it. The slot on the road will provide electricity for the battery in the truck when it needs juice, reports TechXplore.
The Swedish government wants to reportedly implement new technology that can be easily adapted to currently available electric vehicles. This test road has been built on a Rosersberg logistics site near Stockholm and the Arlanda Cargo Terminal, two km away. While the road is still open for traffic, the electrified portion of the road is reserved for test trucks for now.
While this sounds similar to a tram line where power is fed through overhead wires, the developers of this electric road have said that it is 50 times lower in cost when compared to building a tram line per km. This project has cost approximately €1 million per kilometer, notes the report.
In spite of drawing parallels to slot car toys, this new system is quite sophisticated, notes the report. There are two rails built into the road, installed in 50-meter sections and an arm from the vehicle's undercarriage will settle between the slots. There will be minimal loss of energy for the rails because unless there is a vehicle drawing electricity from the rails, it will not feed any power. Also, the system can measure how much power each vehicle moving over it is consuming so they can be billed at a later date. The rails will be functional even in bad weather, say the developers.
The idea is to implement these roads in different parts of the country for use by existing electric vehicles. With the addition of a simple arm to draw power, it will soon be possible for any vehicle- car or truck to charge up whenever needed on the go instead of stopping at charging station to top up their batteries. With more and more electric cars likely on roads soon, options to charge cars on the go is a welcome addition to prospective car buyers.