The electric road- one that charges electric cars and trucks as the drive across it- is often seen as the Holy Grail of EV adoption. Eliminate range anxiety utterly, the argument goes, and we’ll reach a tipping point for all things electric. Well, we’ll soon see if that’s how this thing is going to play out, because the Swedish government has just unveiled a 1.2-mile long stretch with an integrated electrical rail that charges a fleet of custom-designed, pass-through trucks using the truck’s movable arm. And you haven’t even heard the best part about this road: it’s fully operational.
“The technology offers infinite range — range anxiety disappears,” said Gunnar Ashland, CEO of Elways, in a statement. But he goes on to talk about some unexpected benefits, as well. “Electrified roads will allow smaller batteries and (therefor) can make electric cars even cheaper than fossil fuel ones.”
“Such roads will allow (electric vehicles) to move long distances without big, costly and heavy batteries,” said Markus Fischer, a spokesperson for state-owned energy company Vattenfall. “The investment cost per kilometer is estimated to be less than that of using overhead lines, as is the impact on the landscape.”
For now, dedicated carrying trucks are running on the track, shuttling to and from Arlanda airport to a logistics center on-site. If it keeps on keeping on and the system proves durable enough, it’s expected to make its way to main commercial arteries by the end of the decade.