The idea: mount a metal conductor strip/rail to the road and voila, you have an e-road, a sort of inverted trolley-bus system for cars and trucks. If a country like Sweden would install these rails in the main routes only, ensuring that no home would be further away from a road with such a rail, it would reduce the required size of the battery of e-vehicles enormously. Think 50 kg instead of 400 kg, because the car would charge the battery during driving.
A test route was equipped with a conducting rail earlier this year and the test results are in. And they are encouraging. 200 kW can be delivered, think a truck. The system works good under snow and ice conditions. No need for heating the rail.
Back-of-an-envelope calculation of the cost of an e-road system: The producer Elways claims that the cost per kilometer for 2 lanes is less than 1 million dollar. Go to Google Maps to verify that from Malmö in the South to Gällivare in the North it is 1740 km over road. Two parallel North-South roads exist, that’s 3500 km at a varying distance of 50-150 km. Add some East-West legs to connect these two roads and you arrive at perhaps 5,000 km or less than 5 billion $ to electrify your roads. Sweden has 10 million citizens, so that would be 500 $/capita. That’s very affordable. Note that autonomous driving will relieve the population of the need of owning a car, reducing the per mile cost with a factor of 4-10 according to this study.
More videos below and even more in the elways-link.
[elways.se] – Arlanda Test Results
[deepresource] – E-Road, E-Vehicles Breakthrough in Sweden?