Hydro and Elonroad in collaboration to build smart roads that charges electric vehicles while they drive
With the vision to electrify the entire transport sector and make fossil fuel a thing of the past, Elonroad has developed a high-tech electric road system that charges electric vehicles while they drive. Elonroad and Hydro have been in collaboration since October 2018 to produce an extruded aluminum profile in which all electronics and the rails are incorporated. Now the first stretch of electric road has been installed in public, in the city center of Lund, Sweden.
EVolutionRoad is a three-year project that has been commissioned by the Swedish Transport Administration to build a test and demonstration site for electric roads. The goal is to perform tests, gather knowledge and explore the potential of electric roads as a complement to a future fossil-free transport system.
Elonroad, in collaboration with Sweden’s Lund University, has initially been commissioned to build 1,000 meters of road on Getingevägen, Lund. It will be the first electric road system to be placed in an urban environment. In the beginning of June, the first section of the road was inaugurated and will now be subject to comprehensive testing. The electric road has been installed in the bus lane and an electric bus will be able to charge the batteries both while driving and standing still.
Installation of electric road at Getingevägen, Lund
Collaboration since 2018
Elonroad and Hydro met to discuss production of an extruded aluminum profile in October 2018 – a “road profile” – that could contain electronics and a rail for charging electric cars while driving. An aluminum profile that would need to be precisely machined along its entire length, as well as its top and bottom, so that the electronics, cables and positive leads could be fitted and the rail mounted. Hydro began delivery of the unique components this year and has supplied 500 meters of the road profile as well as 1,000 meters of positive leads.
Karin Ebbinghaus, CEO of Elonroad, says: “We highly appreciate the experience and craftmanship together with the professionality that Hydro shows us, even if we are a small start-up. Our cooperation has been crucial to be able to meet our targets.”
Hans Fredriksson, who has led the project at Hydro, says: “It is very interesting and stimulating to cooperate with Elonroad and thus contribute to the sustainable transport of the future on our roads.”
Electric road system
Elonroad’s unique solution involves a conductive rail either placed on top of the road or submerged into the asphalt. A conductive pick-up under the vehicle connects to the electric rail via sliding contacts. The rail is only switched on when covered by the vehicle, making it safe to use in an urban environment.
The version installed on top of the road is 4 cm high and 35 cm wide, with inclined sides of only 10 degrees to make it smooth when changing lanes. The submerged rail has a flat top in level with the surrounding asphalt and works well on highways. The rail is powered by power stations located at the side of the road, and can deliver up to 300 kW with 97% efficiency while driving.
The Elonroad electric road system works for all electric vehicles; cars, taxis, buses and trucks.
The future of transport
An electric road system has many advantages. It uses existing road infrastructure and has high efficiency. The founder of Elonroad, Dan Zethraeus, says that one of the most important benefits of electric roads is that they can significantly reduce the size of the vehicle’s battery – and the weight of the car. “This allows you to carry more goods or passengers. Charging while driving also eliminates the need for downtime to charge the batteries, which saves time,” he says.
Another advantage of Elonroad’s smart rails is that the technology can identify who is connected to the road and decide whether the vehicle should be charged. The system can measure electricity consumption and could for example prioritize a vehicle with low battery.
The Elonroad charging rail can be embedded in any road.
Elonroad is a start-up with a vision to electrify the entire transport sector and make fossil fuel a thing of the past. With clean energy from the sun, wind and sea in an emerging charging infrastructure that is accessible for everyone, and with gradually more and more self-driving vehicles shared in a smart way, drastically reduced CO2 emissions will follow. Elonroad is located in Lund, Sweden.
Hydro is a fully integrated aluminium company with 35,000 employees in 40 countries, combining local expertise, worldwide reach and unmatched capabilities in R&D. In addition to production of primary aluminium, rolled and extruded products and recycling, Hydro extracts bauxite, refines alumina and generates energy to be the only 360° company in the global aluminium industry. The company is headquartered in Oslo.