Highway of millions charges electric cars on the move

Electric car models are already present in the fleets of the largest vehicle brands in the world. Despite still having high costs, the technology promises to rid consumers of fossil fuels. The biggest difficulty is the infrastructure that this type of vehicle needs – where to charge my electric car? Where to load them? Have you ever thought about highways, for example?

Well, we’ve already managed to find parking lots in shopping malls and roadside stations with booths for recharging electric vehicles. Often, however, we go miles without bumping into this feature – which can annoy many drivers.

Sweden decided to invest in a very innovative solution. The country has built an electrified highway that recharges the batteries of electric vehicles by induction while they are driving along the route.



highways - mobility and energy
Images from the official Smartroad Gotland website

Highway induction charging

The avenue that connects the city of Visby to the local airport, on the Swedish island of Gotland, received 1.6 km of coils under the runway. The smart system was developed in partnership with the Israeli company ElectReon Wireless and cost, in September 2022, around 11 million euros – more than BRL 56 million at current prices.

The network of coils under the road generates a magnetic field when it receives an electric current – ​​a phenomenon demonstrated by the Dane Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851). This magnetic field is responsible for recharging vehicles that have a special receiver through induction. Wireless cell phone chargers work with a similar but more simplified technology.

highways - mobility and energy
Images from the official Smartroad Gotland website
highways - mobility and energy
Images from the official Smartroad Gotland website

When the vehicle travels along the stretch with this system, the charging process starts automatically. Initially, the project is aimed at trucks and tends to expand to any vehicle with the receiver. In addition, Sweden wants to implement another 2,000 kilometers of electric roads that allow this charging.

With this system, electric vehicles tend to lower their costs, since their batteries may be smaller, as they do not need large energy storage.

previous technology

Two years ago, Sweden had already developed a similar project on a highway near Stockholm. In a stretch of 2 kilometers, tracks were installed in the ground that carried the vehicles that passed over them.

In this case, the charging did not occur by induction, but by a movable arm that came out from under the car. Similar to slot machines, when the surfaces came into contact, the charging process started.

See too: Understand how a wireless charger works

Sources: SmartRoad Gotland, Student Guide, QuatroRodas.



Engineering 360

Rafael Panteri

Electrical Engineering student at Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia. Part of graduation at Shibaura Institute of Technology – Japan.

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