Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology has conducted a study suggesting that ‘electric roads’ can reduce the size of a car battery by up to 70%.
Several countries, including Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, are currently experimenting with electric road systems (ERS) to electrify road infrastructure.
ERS charges moving vehicles with induction loops or catenary wires located on or above the road, eliminating the need for stationary charging and thus reducing the need for larger vehicle batteries.
Researchers used data from over 400 passenger cars to study driving patterns on different roads to determine the optimal charging solutions, including stationary versus ERS charging patterns, total costs, and battery sizes.
The study found that combining home-charging and ERS on 25% of the busiest national and European roads would be the most effective approach.
Lead researcher Sten Karlsson said: “We see that it is possible to reduce the required range of batteries by more than two-thirds if you combine charging in this way.
“This would reduce the need for raw materials for batteries and an electric car could also become cheaper for the consumer.
“Another possible benefit is that peaks in electricity consumption could be reduced if car drivers did not entirely rely on home-charging but also supplemented it with electric road charging.
“Many people charge their cars after work and during the night, which puts a lot of strain on the power grid.
“By instead charging more evenly throughout the day, peak load would be significantly reduced.”
The Swedish Transport Administration is currently building a 21-kilometer electric road alongside the E20 motorway between Örebro and Hallsberg.
Image credit: Ju Jae-young/Shutterstock
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