These Electric Roads in Sweden Can Charge Cars While They're Driving
It’s a major breakthrough for electric vehicles.
Sweden wants to shed fossil fuel-based cars by 2030 and a new invention may help to reach that goal even sooner.
An electric road known as eRoad was just introduced in the country and it charges vehicles in motion, according to CNN.
It’s an innovation that seemingly solves two of the biggest challenges facing electric cars: — batteries that can lose power and the lack of charging stations in many countries.
"One of the most important issues of our time is the question of how to make fossil-free road transportation a reality," Hans Säll, chairman of the eRoadArlanda told CNN.
"We now have a solution that will make this possible, which is amazing. Sweden is at the cutting edge of this technology, which we now hope to introduce in other areas of the country and the world."
With electric roads, cars can potentially travel much longer distances because they’ll constantly receive electricity, CNN reports.
This development also means that electric vehicles can have smaller batteries because they won’t have to carry as much power. As a result, they’ll be cheaper to make and be more sustainable, according to CNN.
The Swedish Transport Administration funded the technology, along with a suite of other innovations, that will help the country reach its 2030 goal.
Sweden has yet to officially roll out the electric tracks across the country but a test road has opened.
It works like a go-kart track.
First, a strip that conducts electricity is installed on a road. As a car enters that section of asphalt, sensors from both the strip and car synchronize. An arm then detaches from the car and latches onto the strip where it gathers electricity.
The detachable arm is designed to be flexible so a car can move around as it’s plugged in.
The strip is designed to be weather resistant, so it can operate under adverse conditions like snow and rain, according to CNBC. It also doesn’t pose a risk to animals or humans because it only delivers electricity when a car is plugged in.
If this technology becomes installed in a majority of roads, then owners of electric vehicles would be able to drive around without worrying about losing power.
If adopted on a global scale, it could revolutionize electric transportation.
Other countries including France, the UK, China, and India are looking to shed fossil fuel vehicles.
In Norway, more than half of the new cars bought in 2017 were either electric or hybrid.
Many major auto manufacturers are responding to this global demand, and the constraints of regulations, by investing in electric vehicles.
The US, meanwhile, has recently backtracked on efforts to make transportation sustainable.
The eRoad is undergoing a two-year trial period with freighter trucks before it’s deemed suitable for the broader public, according to CNN.
"The Government wants to test one or two additional technologies ... that will then be evaluated in two years or so, (and) after that they will pick out one of those technologies [that have been tested] to build a longer pilot stretch that will be between 20 and 40 kilometers," Säll told CNN.
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