In Sweden, the world’s first electrified road has gone into operation, allowing the batteries of all types of electric vehicles to be charged while driving.

In Hong Kong there is an “Electric Road”, but it is only called that. In Arlanda, Sweden, there is indeed an electric road, because it allows electric vehicles to be charged while driving. The technology is in the road.

E-Road test track north of Stockholm in operation

The Director General of the Swedish Transport Authority Trafikverket, Lena Erixon, the Minister of Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth and the inventor of the conductor rail Gunnar Asplund officially inaugurated the electrified road on the eRoadArlanda on 26.04.2018.

The technology works like this: a sliding pantograph under the truck takes current from the conductor rail on the ground. The pantograph can move sideways and is automatically folded down into the conductor rail and back up again. The loading capacity is 200 kW.

Electric overhead line versus conductor rail in the ground

The newly patented technology of charging via a rail in the ground has the advantage over charging via an overhead line that it is suitable for all electric vehicles – not only for trucks or buses. Any type of electric vehicle can be charged in this way while driving. If this technology were used across the board, even electric cars with small batteries would have an unlimited range. Another advantage is that the conductor rails require lower investment costs than overhead lines and have less impact on the landscape

Electrification of road traffic – CO2 reduction

The eRoadArlanda electrified road was opened in mid-April 2018 and is now being tested under demanding road and weather conditions over an extended trial period of at least one year. During this period, the project’s purpose-built, fully electric trucks will transport goods between the freight terminal at Arlanda Airport and the nearby logistics facility of the logistics company PostNord.

“The electrification of road transport is an important factor in reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions in society. Carbon dioxide emissions from trucks account for about a quarter of the total emissions from road transport. So the development of electrified roads can be an important piece of the puzzle in reducing emissions from the transport sector,” says Annika Ramsk├Âld, Head of Sustainability at Vattenfall.