One downside to traveling with a vehicle is that you need some form of fuel, so you cannot drive continuously without stopping, somewhere. If your vehicle runs on gas you need to refuel at a gas station. If it runs on electricity or energy you need to recharge at a valid electricity station.
Wouldn’t it be badass if you could just set out, on the open road, and never have to stop for anything? What if your vehicle could just recharge itself indefinitely?
That’s the [loose] idea behind Sweden’s new EV charging road, which can juice-up vehicles as they travel. It’s a world first, as no other country has anything quite like it installed.
Sweden’s Road Now Includes an EV Charging Rail
A “world-first” for electric-vehicles, Sweden’s new road can charge their batteries as they drive. (Credit: eRoadArlanda)
If you ever find yourself in Sweden behind the wheel of an electric-vehicle, you’ll be happy to know that it will charge as you drive.
Sadly, the road in question only stretches for about 1.2 miles (or 2km) so you won’t be driving indefinitely as outlined in our future scenario. The significance, however, is that this stretch of road is the first in a government-planned rollout that will see the same technology used across most of the country’s road system. They only plan to outfit rails on the 20,000km of highways.
Stock electric cars cannot benefit from the setup. You need to have a movable arm installed, which will interlock with the rail and charge the vehicle’s batteries.
That sure seems dangerous, but there’s nothing to worry about. If the vehicle strays or moves away from the track, the arm automatically detracts. Think of it as an advanced record needle, only it’s not producing sweet audio, but instead electrified jolts.
How Does the EV Charging Roadway Work?
The electrified rails for charging EV vehicles are on the surface, and the conductors are buried below ground for safety. (Credit: eRoadArlanda)
Apparently, the rail-arm system uses a “dynamic charging” function to funnel electricity only when the vehicle is in motion. If you’re at a light or something, the charge is inactive.
What’s even more interesting is the entire system can calculate the cost of energy consumed, which can be credited to vehicle owners.
This setup may incite the inclusion of smaller battery or energy storage systems inside modern EVs, at least in Sweden.
Maybe someday the U.S. will do something cool like this. Then again, judging by how many of our roads are in a state of perpetual construction, this project wouldn’t be finished anytime within the next century.
Jests aside, it’s definitely something to consider as we move toward EVs and smart vehicles.