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26th of May 2018

Automotive



How world's first electrified road could lead to slashed EV prices

Sweden's eRoadArlanda project incorporates an electrified rail that charges a modified electric truck that moves Stockholm's Arlanda airport to Postnord's nearby logistics hub. The road is 2 km long.

An electrified road in Sweden that is the first in the world to charge vehicles as they drive along is showing promise and could potentially help cut the high cost of electric cars, project backers Vattenfall and Elways told Reuters.

The government-funded project, named eRoadArlanda and costing about 50 million crowns ($5.82 million), uses a modified electric truck that moves cargo from Stockholm's Arlanda airport to Postnord's nearby logistics hub to test the technology.

A electrified rail embedded in the tarmac of the 2 km road charges the truck automatically as it travels above it. A movable arm attached to the truck detects the rail's location in the road, and charging stops when the vehicle is overtaking or coming to a halt.

The system also calculates the vehicle's energy consumption, which enables electricity costs to be debited per vehicle and user.

Elways' CEO Gunnar Asplund said the charging while driving would mean electric cars no longer need big batteries -- which can be half the cost of an electric car -- to ensure they have enough power to travel a useful distance.

"The technology offers infinite range -- range anxiety disappears" he said. "Electrified roads will allow smaller batteries and can make electric cars even cheaper than fossil fuel ones."

Asplund said the Swedish state, which is funding the project, was happy with the results so far, with the only issue -- now resolved -- having been dirt accumulating on the rail.

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