Moving Things & People

The electrical road project continues on a new stretch and with a conference

Caroline Wendt
July 16, 2021

Currently, the work around the electrical road in Lund is an intense phase. For a while now an electrical rail, laying on top of the usual road, is part of Getingevägen on the way out of Lund. Now Evolution Road is working to complement the existing one with an inbuilt electrical rail on the other side of the road. Simultaneously, Innovation Skåne opened its registration for the electrical road conference on May 6th where interested people can listen to several of Sweden’s best experts on the topic.

For a year now tests have been running at Lund’s demonstration side for an electrical road with charging possibilities. Here, it is being tested how electrical vehicles can be charged from a rail placed on top of the road with the help of an attached device below the vehicle. The tests showed good results thus far - both in terms of stationary charging as well as dynamic charging during the ride. A couple of weeks ago the project Evolution Road has begun with the work of installing another electrical road on the opposite side – this time the rail is being integrated in the road. In the updated trial the rail is milled 5cm into the asphalt. Once the construction works are finished there will be a 600 m long test road.

- After we got good results with the first variant of the electrical road, which was elevated and works best in a city environment, we are now looking forward to tests with a lowered option; with the same conductive technique. The new option will be on the same level as the asphalt and gives an entirely flat road, which makes it suitable for charging infrastructure for longer roads and for vehicles which are driving on high speed, says Per Löfberg, project leader at Innovation Skåne.  

The first 50 meters only took 3 days to install. On the first day a 50 cm wide, 50 meters long and 5 cm deep hollow was milled – all in less than 10 minutes. This allowed to insert an electrical rail that is even with the road. On the second day, the rails were placed in the hollow/ indentation, cables were connected to the measuring stations and the rails joints got connected. By day 3 the section was provided with electricity so that the following week a bus could be charged on the road.

Currently, the project is awaiting a special attachment which is needed to run dynamic tests (to ensure that vehicles are moving and charging simultaneously) on the new part of the electrical road. This attachment moves sideways and can therefore follow the rail even when the vehicle isn’t. With time the attachment will be used for both electrical roads – the one with the rail sitting on top of the street and the other electrical road with the integrated rail. The next step is to prolong the section from 50 to 600 meters and, of course, to carry out dynamic tests with the new attachment.

Trafikverket has recently informed about the continuing plans for the electrical road, with a potential extension of ca. 2400 km by 2037.

– Trafikverket looks forward to the experiences and knowledge the upcoming demonstrations can provide. The technique can become one of several puzzle pieces for the electrification of heavy transport with the goal to transform to a sustainable transport system in a fossil-free society, says Jan Pettersen, Program Director of Electrification at Trafikverket, in Innovation Skåne’s press release.

Evolution Road welcomes all collaborators and interested people to a digital and free of charge conference on electrical roads, taking place on May 6th. Some of Sweden’s biggest experts are participating from the fields of electrical roads, electrification and future transport systems.

More about the EVolution Road project:

(description from Evolution Roads homepage )

The EVolution Road project is demonstrating an electric road system in a city center in Southern Sweden with a conductive ground mounted charging system for all types of electric vehicles.

The electric road includes a conductive connection between the electric road and the vehicle – through a pic-up installed under the vehicle. The pic-up connects to the road by sliding along electrified rails laid on top of the road, thus transmitting power and charging the vehicle’s batteries, providing an efficient transfer of power from the rails to the vehicle.

Only short segments of rail are activated in rapid sequence under the vehicles, all other parts of the rail is powered off, making the solution safe also in busy city traffic. The concept works both while the vehicle is driving and when it is stationary.

The system is designed so that all types and sizes of electric vehicles such as cars, taxis, buses and trucks can use the systems. The primary test vehicle is a city bus.

The system demonstrates a range of solutions – not only charging – but also wireless communication between the road and vehicles, security solutions, automated payments and more. The technology being tested in the project has been developed by the Swedish company Elonroad in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering at Lund university. Read more about the technology on Elonroad’s website.

The electric road technology being tested and demonstrated in Lund is developed by the Swedish company Elonroad AB together with the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University. EVolution Road is a pre-commercial demonstration project with partners from the industry, academia and public sector.

Innovation Skåne AB is project manager, other partners are: Kraftringen Energi AB, Lund municipality, Ramboll AB, Skånetrafiken, Solaris Sverige AB och the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, VTI.

Commissioned and mainly financed by the Swedish Transport Administration, the project takes part in the Swedish government’s roadmap to understand the potential of electric roads – as an important part of the fossil free transport system of tomorrow.

Translated by Christin Scheller


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