Sweden to build world’s first permanent “electric road” in 2025

The 21km stretch of the E20 highway between Hallsberg and Örebro was chosen because of its high freight volume (Michael Marais/Unsplash)
Trafikverket, the agency that oversees Sweden’s highway network, has decided to install the country’s first vehicle-charging “electric road” in the county of Örebro, about 100km west of Stockholm, the World Highways news site reports

The aim is to encourage the use of electric trucks, and the 21km stretch of the two-lane E20 highway between Hallsberg and Örebro was chosen because most of the freight transported between northern and southern Sweden passes through Örebro.

The decision follows a number of pilot projects to assess the feasibility of a road that can charge the batteries of the electrical vehicles that use it.

Most recently, Sweden began a pilot in June 2020 in the city of Lund. This used patented technology developed by the Swedish company Evolution Road and Lund University to transmits up to 300kW of power to the vehicle through a retractable pick-up that drags along a metal rail embedded in the road.

Other schemes in other countries have looking into the possibility of wireless systems – last February, Purdue University and Indiana’s Department of Transportation teamed up with German startup Magment to plan a concrete highway that can wirelessly charge the electric vehicles.

According to World Highways, Trafikverket and the government of Örebro County have not decided on which technology would be used, but they have set a deadline of 2025 to bring it into operation.

The county carried out a study in May 2020 with utilities Ellevio, Vattenfall and Svenska Kraftnät that looked into how electricity could be available for such the road.

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