A 2km stretch of road in Sweden has been embedded with an electrified rail as part of the latest trial by a consortium hoping to roll the technology out across the country.
The eRoadArlanda project sees DC energy transferred from a rail in the road to vehicles passing above using a movable arm. Sections of rail, which are connected to the grid, power up individually as vehicles travel over them. The arm detects the location of the rail and remains in contact as long as the vehicle is above.
When overtaking, the arm automatically retracts. The system is also able to calculate energy consumption so that customers can be billed on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is expected to operate only on primary roads, with vehicles relying on their batteries once they exit on to arterial routes.
“One of the most important issues of our time is the question of how to make fossil-free road transportation a reality,” said Hans Säll, chairman of the eRoadArlanda consortium and business development director a Swedish construction company NCC.
“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.”
According to the consortium, up to one kilometre of electrified rail can be installed per hour and interruptions to existing infrastructure can be minimised. Due to the short distance between the vehicle and contact point, a conductive feed from below works for all types of transport, including both cars and larger vehicles, such as buses and trucks.
The trial is taking place on public road 893 between the Arlanda Cargo Terminal and the Rosersberg logistics area outside Stockholm. Parties to the extensive consortium include Elways, NCC, PostNord, ABT-bolagen, Vattenfall, DAF, KTH, Kilenkrysset, VTI, E-traction, GCT, KTH, Bilprovningen, Airport City Stockholm, Sigtuna Municipality, Swedavia, Arlanda Stad Holding, TraningPartner, FirstHotel, Frost Produktion, SMM Dulevo and Sandströms Elfirma.
“It is important to break new ground when it comes to climate-smart road transport,” said Lena Erixon, director general of the Swedish Transport Administration. “That’s why the Swedish Transport Administration supports innovative development projects that contribute to long-term, sustainable solutions.”