Sweden launches world’s first electric road

In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Sweden has decided to innovate by opening Wednesday an electrified road, the “world’s first”, according to its promoters. Equipped with a conduction rail, this route allows the vehicle’s battery to recharge in motion.

Called eRoadArlanda, this stretch is two kilometers long and is located on a secondary network route connecting a freight terminal at Stockholm Arlanda International Airport and a logistics center.

As a first step, only fully electric trucks from PostNord, a Swedish postal service company, will be equipped to use this route.

It works by transferring energy by means of a removable arm placed under the vehicle. The latter lowers to make contact with the rail, which is placed in the middle of the road. In case of overtaking or accident, this contact between the arm and the rail is automatically lifted.

Most of these tests use electromagnetic induction technology. Electricity, which is drawn in, is then used to propel the vehicle or to be stored in batteries.

With this project, Sweden wants to become one of the pioneers in sustainable development. By 2030, the Nordic country intends to be “one of the first developed countries without fossil energy” in transport, according to the Swedish Minister of Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth.

“Everyone realizes that we are in a situation where climate change is imposing new demands on our policies and our development, this project is a way to find solutions,” he said

In Sweden, road transport currently accounts for more than 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to official figures. Several companies are also trying to launch similar initiatives.

Alstom, a French firm, is currently testing, with the help of the Swedish Energy Agency and Volvo Group, Göteborg, another ground-based power supply system, drawing on the technology used in trams.

Shakes Gilles

Editor of The Talking Democrat. He enjoys bike riding, kayaking and playing soccer. On a slow weekend, you'll find him with a book by the lake.