Sweden has launched a new moving charging lane for electric vehicles. It allows models equipped with an electric motor to be able to recharge their batteries during circulation opening up vast possibilities even with small capacity batteries.
This lane has been launched in the Swedish town of Lund. The local company Elonroad has finally completed its first functional section that will use the patented technology developed by the Swedish company in collaboration with the University of Lund of transmitting up to 300 kW of power.
It has an emitter located on the ground, and that, using a small retractable arm on the underside of the vehicle, connects both systems with a metal rail. Therefore, the operation is similar to that of the legendary Scalextric, and not to the wireless networks that other companies are testing, allowing greater efficiency and access to much higher powers.
The lane will be installed on the road and will measure 4 cm high and 35 cm wide with 10-degree sloped sides to make it easier for vehicles to get over when they want to get out of that lane.
On the other side, we find the connect installed on the underside of the vehicle. A pin that will be in charge of transmitting electricity from the road to the battery. According to its developers, it is a simple and inexpensive alternative that can be installed in all kinds of vehicles. This is only 2 cm high in cars, while for buses and trucks, its height will be between 5 and 6 centimeters.
For its designers, this format is perfect for facilitating the electrification of sectors such as public transport and goods, since it allows to reduce the battery capacity by up to 70%. Something that translates into a lower cost of vehicle acquisition. The main barrier to market entry.
A rail that will function as a real range extender, since thanks to its 300 kW of power will allow not only to propel heavy vehicles during their journey, but they will even be able to partially recharge their battery while driving. Estimating that for every kilometer that is walked through this, three autonomy will be recovered.
The lane works thanks to a series of electrical substations located on the side of the road. Each one will be able to deliver up to 3 MW, which according to the company, will be enough to power up to 10 electric trucks simultaneously. The power plant is connected to the grid every 1,000 meters and transforms the grid voltage from 10kV to 600V DC, reducing energy losses.
Another critical aspect is its resistance to weather factors. This system will have the capacity to transmit heat and thus be able to melt the ice or snow that forms on it. This will allow operations to be maintained even in the coldest months of the year. Even for areas like Sweden, this would not be enough, and for this, the company has developed a snowplow machine adapted to the rail that will remove the snow accumulated on its sides.
An exciting technology that has pros such as being able to offer fast recharges even on the move. Something significant for industrial sectors, but also with cons with the high cost of installation and having to install its system for each vehicle that will have to pass a homologation.
A prototype that will be used by a Solaris brand electric bus, which will be in charge of testing the performance of this striking format in the coming months. It is expected to achieve a good enough performance to start its expansion in other regions.