Sweden is converting the E20 highway into the world's first permanent electrified road, allowing cars and trucks to recharge while driving. The project is planned to be built by 2025 and will use dynamic charging technology, which enables vehicles to travel longer distances with smaller batteries and avoid waiting at charging stations. The charging method has not yet been decided, but there are three options: catenary, conductive, and inductive systems. A recent study also found that combining home charging with dynamic charging could reduce the battery size of privately driven cars by up to 70%.
Last month, the EU passed a landmark law requiring all new cars sold to have zero CO2 emissions from 2035, prompting European countries to prepare the infrastructure needed for fossil fuel-free mobility. Sweden has taken a step forward in this direction by turning a highway into the world’s first permanent electrified road. The project will convert the European route E20, which connects logistic hubs between Hallsberg and Örebro, into an electric road where cars and trucks can recharge while driving.
Dynamic charging on electrified roads allows vehicles to travel longer distances with smaller batteries and avoid waiting at charging stations. Jan Pettersson, Director of Strategic Development at Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration, said, “We think the electrification solution is the way forward for decarbonising the transport sector and we are working with a number of solutions.”
World’s First Permanent Electrified Road For Electric Vehicles (EVs) To Charge While Driving Is Being Built In Sweden
The project is currently at the procurement stage and is planned to be built by 2025. While the charging method for E20 has not been decided, there are three types of charging to choose from: catenary system, inductive system, and conductive system. The catenary system can only be used for heavy-duty vehicles, while conductive charging works like a charger pad for smartphones. The inductive charging system uses special equipment buried underneath the road that sends electricity to a coil in the electric vehicle.
While much of the Electric Road System (ERS) focuses on trucks, a recent study suggested that private cars could also benefit. The study simulated the movement patterns of 412 privately driven cars on parts of Swedish national and European roads and found that combining home charging with dynamic charging can reduce the size of the battery by up to 70%. Researchers behind the study also say that electrifying only 25% of all roads in Sweden would be efficient for the system to work.
Sweden has pioneered electrified roads through several pilot projects, including the world’s first temporary electric road and a wireless electric road for heavy trucks and buses in the island city of Visby. The country has partnered with Germany and France to exchange experience through authority and research collaborations on electric roads. Germany and Sweden have had demonstration facilities on public roads for several years, and France plans to procure a pilot section with an electric road.
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