This is a serious hi-tech project
Sweden seems to be going through something of a retro revival of late. Seventies pop band ABBA recently announced its return after a break of some 36-years and now the Swedish Transport Administration has plans to install rails into the nation’s roads not unlike the Scalextric toy sets that were so popular with kids back in the ‘80s. The road-going version will not be using a plastic groove to keep the cars planted to the ground, instead a much more complex version of the metal rails that transfer power to the vehicle will be implemented.
The plan is to equip electric vehicles with adjustable arms that can automatically detect these rails and recharge their batteries while on the move. The project is part of a wider plan to have a fossil-fuel free commercial and passenger vehicle fleet in Sweden by 2030. These are ambitious plans although similar to neighboring countries where EVs are big sellers. Currently the system has been installed on a short 1.25-mile stretch of road and is initially being tested by trucks. If it does prove a viable system the resultant weight saving benefits thanks to smaller battery requirements would be an additional bonus to the time savings long-distance freight haulers will save by not having to stop to recharge.
EroadArlanda is the Swedish company tasked with making this project a reality and while earlier attempts at on-the-go charging relied on overhead pylons such as trams currently use, this system promises to be cheaper and easier to adapt to a broader range of vehicles. Testing has been done in inclement weather conditions and the results have been positive. Whether this system will be developed in conjunction with autonomous driving technologies is not clear but the potential for a stress-free, zero-emission commute should be music to Swedish motorists ears, just like that new ABBA song.