April 12, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Sweden is to commission the world's first smart road that can charge inductively both an electric truck and a bus while in full motion.
The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) is to commission the Smart Road Gotland consortium with technology from Electreon for dynamic wireless mobile power transfer through a demonstration road system in a SEK116m (€11m) project. The installation is invisible to road users with coils deployed 8 cm under the surface and activated only when corresponding vehicle drives on top of it.
The consortium will deploy a fully functional public shuttle service and test bed through a 1.6 km long electric smart road as part of the total route of 4.1 km between the airport and city center of Visby on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. The electric truck will be test-driven by a professional in varied seasonal conditions to ensure that the system is ready for large-scale roll out.
Long haul heavy trucks will benefit significantly from the Electreon smart road system as heavy batteries and stops for charging are not needed, using a supercapacitor instead to collect the energy from the coils.
Gotland GPe Circuit, which runs the GotlandRing sustainable race and test circuit, worked with the World Ecological Forum and Electreon. The consortium also includes EiTech, a Swedish subsidiary of Vinci, one of the world's biggest infrastructure and construction companies, and the Swedish Rise Research Institute. It also includes Dan transport, an Israeli bus operator and a strategic investor in Electreon which is providing a HIGER E-Bus based on a supercapacitor, while the coils for the smart road are manufactured by French company Hutchinson.
"For the whole consortium, it's wonderful news that we have been selected as the top candidate. It is of utmost importance to significantly reduce CO2-emissions within the transport sector. To commence with the heavier transports is logical since the biggest emission improvements can be gained where the usage and tonnage is the highest," said Alec Arho-Havrén, CEO and founder of Gotland GPe Circuit/GotlandRing and World Ecological Forum.
"We, the Swedish Transport Administration, believe that 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," said Jan Pettersson, program manager for the Swedish Transport Administration.
"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," said Oren Ezer, CEO of Electreon in Israel.