One of the challenges of electric cars is that of limited mileage due to available battery capacity. One solution, which a company like Tesla has embraced, is to build charging stations along roads. Another more ambitious solution is to make electrified roads that charges vehicles driving on them. And that is exactly what has been done in Sweden. The world’s first electrified road is here.
The system being this road is called “dynamic charging”. Don’t worry about being electrified by the road. There is no electrical current passing through the surface of the road. How it works is that there are two tracks of rail in the road that come in contact with a movable arm under the electric vehicle.
To charge, the car has to run over those tracks and it is disconnected whenever it switches lanes or moves away from the track. So, the road surface itself is safe.
An explanation from the CEO of the consortium executing the road:
“There is no electricity on the surface. There are two tracks, just like an outlet in the wall. Five or six centimetres down is where the electricity is. But if you flood the road with salt water then we have found that the electricity level at the surface is just one volt. You could walk on it barefoot.”
The technology is an innovative combination of a regular road, rail track and a tram overhead wire flipped upside down. That kind of thing. This is a tram:
This electrified road technology can be implemented as a dedicated lane in a 4-lane highway, so users of electric cars who need to top up can do so without stopping. Dear people, innovation is sweet to see unravel. To infinity and beyond!