There are several methods of building electrified roads. Inductive technology involves a magnetic transmission of energy. Conductive technology allows for electricity to be supplied in two ways: contact from above through overhead lines or from below via conductors in the road. eRoadArlanda has chosen to test and develop conductive feeds from below, the method that we have deemed will have the greatest potential to succeed.
eRoadArlanda’s technical solution transfers energy from a rail in the road to the vehicle, using a movable arm. The arm detects the location of the rail in the road and as long as the vehicle is above the rail, the contact will be in a lowered position. When overtaking, the contact is automatically raised.
The rail, which is connected to the power grid, also functions automatically. It is divided into sections and each individual section is powered only when a vehicle is above it. When a vehicle stops, the current is disconnected. The rail enables the vehicle’s batteries to be recharged while powering its passage. The system also calculates the vehicle’s energy consumption, which enables electricity costs to be debited per vehicle and user.
Why use a conductive feed from the road?
What is the project supposed to accomplish?
The purpose of the project is to build a two-kilometer demonstration section that will be used for a period of two years by a truck carrying PostNord freight in order to determine how well the installation works under normal traffic conditions in various weather conditions. Until then, development and tests will be carried out on a separate enclosed test track.
Who is responsible for the project?
RUAB has been contracted by the Swedish Transport Administration and is responsible for the eRoadArlanda project. A section of Road 893 has been leased by the Swedish Transport Administration for a two-year demonstration period. The project will deliver a report to the Swedish Transport Administration explaining the knowledge, experience and conditions required for the possible future electrification of roads.
What does it cost?
Electrifying 20,000 kilometers of roads in Sweden with conductive feeds is expected to cost about SEK 80 billion. The difference should be compared: current vehicle-fuel costs amount to (seven million tons x SEK 6,000 =) SEK 42 billion per year before tax. Clean electric power would cost about (25 TWh x SEK 0.4/kW =) SEK 10 billion per year before tax. Therefore, the savings would be SEK 32 billion per year. If we assume that electric cars with small batteries cost the same as internal-combustion cars, it would take less than three years to pay for the electrification of the roads.
What types of vehicles can be charged?
Although the system is designed with the capacity to feed heavier traffic, such as trucks, it also works for cars and buses. It can also provide help for uphill driving.
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In phase one, a 350-meter test track was built. First, a groove was first cut, after which sections of rail were laid 12 meters at a time and linked together. We developed a technique for the project that enables one kilometer of electrified road to be installed per hour.
The technical solution is protected by 20 Swedish patent applications, ten granted patents, 17 PCT applications and 39 international applications in addition to the Swedish patents.
eRoadArlanda’s solution enables electric or hybrid vehicles to be recharged while in motion. Consequently, it has the potential to sharply reduce carbon emissions from the transport industry.
eRoadArlanda uses conductive feeds from below – a rail with electrical conductors is powered in sections as a vehicle passes over it. Receiving electricity from the roadway enables the use of the electrified road by passenger cars, trucks and buses. The technology is similar to that of a tram line, but is not limited by the placement of or distance to the rail.
Energy is transferred through a movable arm from a rail in the road to the vehicle. The arm detects the location of the rail in the road and as long as the vehicle is above the rail, the contact will be in a lowered position. When overtaking, the contact is automatically raised.
The contact is designed to eject water, gravel and other particles from the track as a vehicle drives by. To cope with infrequent traffic, the rails can also be provided with drainage at suitable points, which will keep the track free from inundation regardless of traffic volumes.