Sweden to build road that will charge EVs while driving

Sweden is charging ahead with the world's first permanent road that lets electric cars and trucks (EVs) charge their batteries while driving. This "dynamic charging" will make EVs cheaper because it will reduce the size of its batteries up to 70 percent.

The electrified road will be built on a ~13-mile stretch of the existing E20 highway from Hallsberg to Örebro, between Stockholm and Gothenburg, and it should be ready for people to use in 2025/2026. This new electric road system (ERS) will help electric vehicles travel longer distances without stopping to charge. The project is led by Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration.

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Trafikverket has yet to determine which technology it will use for the ERS. Currently, there are three types available: overhead conductive, ground-based conductive, and ground-based inductive charging.

In the first type of charging, power is transferred from overhead wires to a vehicle through a pantograph — much like how trams operate. This technology, however, is only suitable for heavy-duty vehicles that are high enough to reach the electric lines.

The other two ground-based options work in a similar way. In conductive charging, power is transferred from special rails or tracks placed below or on the road. The vehicles charge with the help of a mechanical arm or stick that touches the rails. In the inductive system, the power transfer takes place between coils embedded in the road and the vehicles.