More people may soon be able to charge their cars on the go using the road beneath them.
While energy-positive electric vehicles with integrated solar panels are still in the future, more people may soon be able to charge their cars on the go using the road beneath them. The technology for doing so builds on the wireless charging method of smartphones or toothbrushes.
Smart Road Gotland, currently being built in Sweden, is set to be a 1.6km strip of an electric highway to test how cars can drive while staying charged, or even recharge as they drive. The road has built-in conductive charging allowing cars to recharge if they ride on inductive pads and have the necessary hardware.
The technology synchronizes currents in two rings (or series of rings): one in the vehicle and another one in the road, which makes it possible to transfer the energy through the air. Invented by ElectReon, it is the first of its kind to allow charging various types of vehicles from cars to buses and trucks.
The tech is expected to help lower the weight of future public transport reducing the need for expensive and heavy batteries while allowing us to improve energy efficiency and decrease the need for EV charging stations.
The road is a pilot project that will be used to assess the larger scale viability of the technology and its potential to improve the Swedish transport system. The tech is considered to be an important move towards the electrification and decarbonization of the energy system in the country. It is also Sweden’s first step in its ambition to build 2,000km of electric highways, expected to cost $3 billion.
Meanwhile, ElectReon has started its second collaboration, this time in its home country, Israel, where it is planning to build a 1km-long test road in Tel-Aviv. The company is now on the lookout for more cities ready to invest in the sustainable electrification of their transport systems.