While the Swedish are known for some electrifying engines under the hoods of their reliable cars, the country’s most famous carmaker might be looking to electrify the roads, too… literally! This news release from the Volvo Group says the company, in cooperation with the Swedish Transport Administration, is studying the the potential for building electric roads that charge city buses while driving down the road.
“Vehicles capable of being charged directly from the road during operation could become the next pioneering step in the development towards reduced environmental impact, and this is fully in line with our vision of becoming the world leader in sustainable transport solutions. Close cooperation between society and industry is needed for such a development to be possible and we look forward to investigating the possibilities together with the City of Gothenburg,” says Niklas Gustavsson, Executive Vice President, Corporate Sustainability & Public Affairs of the Volvo Group.
With the use of an electric road, vehicle batteries would continuously be charged wirelessly during operation by transferring energy from the electricity grid to a vehicle, instead of charging the bus while it is standing still at charging stations. The technology being studied is called inductive charging, whereby the energy is transferred wirelessly to the underside of the vehicle by equipment built into the road.
A 300- to 500-meter electric road might be built for test operations in central Gothenburg in 2015.
Volvo has already been offering hybrid buses with traditional diesel engines, supplemented by an electrical engine to reduce CO2 emissions.