Written by Mark Evans
The long-anticipated idea of being able to charge an electric cart whilst driving has been achieved in Sweden, over a mile long run of road with an electric rail embedded in it, and the Swedish roads agency is now considering a national expansion.
Much like Scalextric, electricity is carried down a track in the road and picked up by an arm under the car. For overtaking the arm is retracted then dropped down again. However, unlike the model cars, each 50m section of road is only ‘live’ whilst a car is drawing current from it.
The concept can be used to reduce the size of batteries carried by an electric car (saving weight and cost), increase range or provide a three-way hybrid propulsion system.
With an approximate cost of euro 1m per kilometre, it is about 50 times cheaper than building a urban tram line.