Sweden Just Opened the World's First Car-Charging Road

By Tom Pritchard on at

Electric cars are fast growing in popularity, but there are still people out there who worry about the infrastructure required to recharge them - particularly the recharge time. While the technology and amount of infrastructure has vastly improved, there are still people out there who have grand ideas about recharging cars as they drive. That idea is one step closer to reality now that Sweden has actually opened up a road capable of recharging EVs that are on the move.

The road itself is a 1.2 miles long stretch between Stockholm Arlanda airport and a logistics site just outside the city, featuring two electrified rails running down the middle. The charge actually makes it way into the car's battery through a a movable 'arm' attached to its underside, making it not too dissimilar from a dodgem. Just far more advanced than the things you'd find at your local fairground. The rails themselves are built in 50-metre sections and are only powered when there's a car above them. So if someone gets close enough to be electrocuted, they'd likely find the car itself would be a much-greater threat.

The road has been built by eRoadArlanda, who claim existing vehicles and roadways can be adapted to utilise the tech, with a cost of €1m per kilometre. The company notes that this is relatively expensive, but still cheaper than the cost of implementing an electric tram line. 50 times less, in fact. Sweden itself has planned out a national map for future expansion, and it works there's no doubt other countries will start looking into it themselves. Provided, of course, that it's cost effective. Councils have a hard enough time dealing with potholes and road maintenance, and adding car recharging into the mix will only complicate things further. That said, this idea is a lot less intrusive than some of the capacitive prototypes that take up a lot more road surface.

The electricity offered by Sweden's roadway isn't free, with a system in place to work out how much power each driver has soaked up and charge them accordingly.  [The Guardian via Slashgear]


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