As electric cars become more and more popular, it only makes sense that electric roads would come next. In what is definitely a look into the future, Sweden has officially opened the world’s first electrified road for charging vehicles.
The road, which is right outside of Stockholm, recharges batteries of electric cars and trucks by transferring energy from two tracks of rail underneath the vehicles. As cars and trucks drive a moveable arm detects their location and automatically moves into contact with them. The road is connected to the power grid and is divided into sections that only receive and provide power when there are vehicles present. The system is set up so that the cost of however much electricity is used gets charged to the individual drivers.
And no actual electricity exists on the surface, just like a wall outlet, something has to be “plugged" into the road to receive the charge. Even if the road was wet, humans could walk on it barefoot and be fine. As of now, it is just a little over a mile long but the government is already looking to expand. The roads agency is even in talks with Berlin about a future network, with hopes of eventually ending up all over the world. The cost of electrification is said to be over $1 million per mile, and as much as that sounds, it’s actually 50 times cheaper than an urban tram line. This is in line with their goal of achieving independence from fossil fuel by 2030.
There was a similar project completed in 2016, but because the charge on that mile-long stretch comes from power lines above, as opposed to a track below, it was unusable for electric cars. Check out the video below to see how the new road works...