Cargo trucks will likely benefit from e-motorways the most, Source: Depositphotos

Sweden to debut world’s first e-motorway in 2025

Sweden to debut world’s first e-motorway in 2025

The 20-km stretch that links the cities of Hallsberg and Örebro will be especially useful to heavy-duty EVs

Sweden is preparing a unique type of infrastructure, which might change the way we think about transportation and mobility in the future – an electrified road that charges e-vehicles as they drive on it. The infrastructure has been described as what will be the first in the world permanent e-motorway and it is expected to be ready in 2025.

The 20-km road (E20) connects the cities of Hallsberg and Örebro in central Sweden, an area in the middle of the country’s three major cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö.

From Örebro, a large part of Sweden's population can be reached within three hours and 60% of Sweden's companies are located within a radius of 20 miles from Hallsberg. There is potential here for a large-scale expansion of electric roads. 

The Nordic country has already been experimenting with the creation of short sectors of electrified roads. However, the highway in question will move beyond being a project to become a permanent fixture and part of what is expected to grow to a network of more than 3,000 kilometres of e-motorways by 2035.

Three types of possible dynamic electrical charging systems

The electrified road will probably be used by electric cars, however, its main purpose will be to ease the operation of cargo trucks and heavy vehicles. Given their sizes and capacity, they need much larger batteries to operate, which in turn makes them expensive.

The road solution is known as dynamic charging, that is charging while moving. This can bring about at least two rapid effects. It will make trucks and cargo transport independent of static charging stations, giving them more flexibility and optimization.

Experts also say that this can also lead to making the production of such vehicles cheaper since they won’t require such large batteries.

Although the deadline for the completion of the electrified road has been decided, the way the road will charge the vehicles hasn’t. There are three options that experts are weighing – each of them has pros and cons.

The catenary system uses overhead wires to provide electricity to a special kind of bus or tram and therefore can only be used for heavy-duty vehicles.

Conductive charging, on the other hand, works both for heavy-duty vehicles and private cars as long as there is a conduction system such as a rail. The vehicles are charged through a lowering stick that touches the rail.

And then, there’s inductive charging. Special equipment buried underneath the road that sends electricity to a coil in the electric vehicle. The coil in the vehicle then uses that electricity to charge the battery.

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology told Euronews that not all roads in Sweden need to be electrified; doing so on only 25 per cent of them would be efficient for the system to bring real change.



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