Last year, Sweden introduced a bit of highway that allows electric vehicles to charge themselves while driving. It’s part of a national effort to have a gas and diesel-free transportation system in place by 2030.
The project — called eRoadArlanda — uses technology similar to overhead cables that charge electric buses and trolleys, but instead is built into the road. When a retrofitted vehicle senses it’s on the electric road, an arm lowers onto the track that charges the car’s battery. eRoadArlanda says the track works in rain or snow. The system is designed to feed heavy truck loads, but will be capable of charging cars and buses as well.
Here’s a short video from The Guardian the shows the road in action.
Dynamic, on-the-go, charging means car and truck vehicles batteries can smaller and more cost effective than they currently are. No need to make them so large if people don’t need to stop at charging stations.
As Forbes points out, the system is smart enough to bill a driver for how much electricity the vehicle pulls from the road. An interesting add-on would be to feed the electric track with nearby renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Think, solar panels along stretches of highway in sun-drenched California.
The International Energy Agency predicts there’ll be 125 million electronic vehicles on the road by 2030. Perhaps, by then, it’s the recharging rather than HOV lane we look to get into.