Sweden has carried out the inaugural journey of a form of sustainable transport that aims to make the dream of fossil-free road transportation a reality, with a solution that allows vehicles to recharge themselves while completing their journey. A variety of transport that bears a strong resemblance to a popular kids game that's been around since the 50s, eRoadArlanda is the grown-up version of Scalextric that its inventors hope will soon become commonplace on the world’s roads.
Providing adults with a chance to relive their youth and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time, the eRoadArlanda consortium has taken on the basis of the slot car racing game and laid two kilometres of metal track into a road in Sweden, powering any vehicle fitted with compliant technology to run without the need for petrol or diesel.
The source of the power for the line comes from a technology that has been developed to transmit large amounts of energy over large distances but with only small losses – technology that, thanks to work with other companies, is now available at the scale shown in the video.
Installed between the Arlanda Cargo Terminal and Rosersberg outside Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, the electrified rails transfers power to vehicles via a custom-built arm that slots into the track in a similar fashion to Scalextric. Thankfully, one aspect that hasn’t been carried over from the racing game is the vehicle’s reliance on the rail for grip, meaning that straying away from the it will only remove the vehicle from the power – not the track. Should this happen the electric truck will continue to use on-board power.
Hans Säll, Chairman of the eRoadArlanda consortium explained at the opening of the new line that the arm fitted to vehicles automatically detects the electrified line, taking out the guesswork. “One of the most important issues of our time is the question of how to make fossil-free road transportation a reality,” said Säll. “Sweden is at the cutting edge of this technology, which we now hope to introduce in other areas of the country and the world.”
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