Evolution Road Sweden – Charge Whilst Driving

Aug 23, 2023

In recent news, Sweden has announced the development of what they are calling ‘Evolution Road’ a unique road dedicated to supporting the Electric Vehicle infrastructure in Sweden whilst also reducing fossil fuel dependency. Evolution Road is essentially the next generation of the ERS (Electric road system) which has been implemented in order to transition to a fossil-free world. The idea was inspired by trolleybuses in the past and trams which drew power from overhead cables to transport people around cities. Trolley buses were unfortunately phased out due to the fact that they were replaced with motor buses, diesel was cheap and the cost of maintaining overhead wires was incredibly expensive in comparison. Now that the world has realised how detrimental the use of fossil fuels is, the use of renewable energy is paramount. If Evolution Road is a success, it would be interesting to see how this idea could be implemented throughout the world in years to come.

Evolution Road

What is Evolution Road?

The Evolution Road project is an electrical road system in a city center located in Southern Sweden which is made up of a series of conductive ground-mounted chargers that will work with all types of electric vehicles (EVs). You may wonder how exactly vehicles are going to be simultaneously charged while driving and the answer is that it is through a pick-up device installed under the vehicle. The pick-up device connects to the road by sliding along electrified rails laid upon the road – almost like a tram system but the wires are non-visible and sit underneath the vehicle instead. This system then transmits power and charges the batteries simultaneously. This means that the vehicle will not need to be charged fully before commencing on a journey. Once the vehicle has left the road, power will be stored in the vehicle’s batteries. 

Only short segments of the rail are activated in rapid sequence under the vehicles, all other parts of the rail are powered off, making the system safe in busy city traffic. The concept works both while the vehicle is driving and when it is stationary.

The system is designed so that all types and sizes of electric vehicles such as cars, taxis, buses, and trucks can use the system, however, the primary test vehicle is a city bus.

Not only has the system been created to charge vehicles but it also allows for wireless communication, better security, as well as automated payments. The technology being tested in the project has been developed by a Swedish company called Elonroad which is working in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University. 

Evolution Road is likely to be an incredibly expensive project, especially if it is approved and is used throughout more areas in the country. The project will be incredibly time-consuming and expensive, however, it will create an additional means of renewable energy and will also improve carbon footprint and create jobs for many workers.  

Could this kind of infrastructure be implemented in the UK?

If the Evolution Road project in Sweden is successful, it would more than likely be used in countries like the UK, especially in smaller cities and larger towns. The UK is pushing for EV only roadways from 2035, so an infrastructure needs to be in place to support this.