The dream of driving on electric highways (eHighways) for miles without recharging still has a few researchers and entrepreneurs excited. Some of them are creating a project test track in Sweden where electric vehicles can drive without fear of depleting their battery pack.
The Swedish transport authority Trafikverke is building the 1.6 km test stretch of eHighway to test how cars can drive while staying charged, or even recharge as they drive on highways. An eHighways is essentially a part of a road that has a conductive charging pad that stretches along a lane. Trucks, buses, and cars can recharge as they drive for what could be limitless miles, as long as the cars ride on inductive pads and have the necessary hardware.
Electreon Highway Charging
There are many approaches to inductive charging, the same system probably your toothbrush uses. Also called wireless charging, the concept rests on a ring above another ring, one with a current indicating to the other how synchronize its current.
Qualcomm Halo demonstrated a decade ago an ingenious system based on one ring in the vehicle and 3 on the road for an easier charging zone and higher efficiency. That system proved to be particularly efficient at high charging speeds, level 3 DC charging. This would have been a good solution for Formula E’s humble beginnings, but other ideas were chosen.
This public-private initiative, based on Electreon’s leading technology, will be the first in the world to charge inductively both an electric truck and a bus while in full motion. The Smart Road Gotland will be used as a pilot project, with its data used to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology in Swedish transport. And according to Jan Pettersson, program manager at Trafikverke:
“Electric roads are an important contribution to reducing CO2-emissions from heavy transportation. Demonstrating and evaluating new technical solutions for electric routes is one of our most important steps in our long-term plan for a potential rollout of electrified routes on the heavy road network in Sweden.”
Oren Ezer, CEO of Electreon, added:
“We are excited that we have been selected to take part in the Swedish government’s ambitious program to examine and implement electric road technology as a solution to electrify heavy trucks on highways. Electreon’s wireless electric road technology makes it possible to electrify truck fleets economically without the need to carry huge batteries and stop for charging and without creating a visual hazard. The selection of Electreon by the Swedish government after careful filtration testifies to the recognition of the potential of the technology to bring the global electrification revolution to the next critical stage of full implementation.”
Perhaps the road to our future electric mobility is through various systems and means of charging and efficiency. We’ll see.