First Electric Road Ever Opened In Sweden

Sweden opened first ever electric road, and while it won’t completely change the future of transportation, it is still an important cornerstone in the electric car industry.

We saw numerous electric road concepts during last few years, but Sweden decided to actually build one. Near the city of Gävle, the first ever electric road finally becomes a reality. Although the strip is just 2 kilometers long, it is fully functional, allowing hybrid trucks to recharge their batteries without stopping.

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All of the trucks are made by Scania, and they are capable of operating under real-time traffic conditions; while on the electric strip, they operate as electric vehicles, and when driven on normal, electric-free road, they will behave as regular hybrid vehicles.

Trucks are recharged using conductive technology, which is developed by German tech giant, Siemens. Claes Erixon, head of R&D at Scania stated that “The electric road is one important milestone on the journey towards fossil-free transport. Scania is committed to the success of this project and is committed to sustainable transport solutions.”

As Claes said, Scania is committed to making important moves that will make Sweden fossil fuel-free by 2030. All trucks used are hybrid vehicles, running on a combination of electric motor and bio-fuel powered engine. Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, the head of Research into Electrification at Scania said that “The potential fuel savings through electrification are considerable; the technology can become a cornerstone for fossil-free road transport services.”

The trucks are powered by a pantograph power collector while on the electric road, which is placed on the frame behind the cab. Pantograph uses overhead electric wires as a power source, conveying power from wires to the vehicle in real-time, allowing the vehicle to recharge while in motion. Trucks can freely hook, or disconnect from the wires at any time; for instance, if a driver wants to overtake another vehicle, the truck will freely unhook from the wires, when the driver returns to electric road strip, the truck will again be hooked to wires, receiving power and recharging its batteries.

This move by Sweden is the beginning of the next phase in making electric vehicles more popular choice for drivers. We already have cars (made by Tesla Motors) able to drive more than 300 kilometers before their batteries run out of juice. And although they have excellent range, you still need to make a stop and hook the car to a charger in order to recharge its batteries. In the future, this way of recharging an electric vehicle will become a thing of the past. By placing electrified lanes on roads, cars will be able to get recharged without stopping; just imagine a road dotted with electric lanes, you’ll be able to get anywhere without stopping, and if we include autonomous driving tech into the formula the future of transportation looks very bright.

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