Installation rail
Workers installing the rail into the road. Photo: Courtesy of eRoadArlanda.

Some people hesitate to buy an electric car because they worry about running out of battery. But imagine if it could recharge while driving.

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Hans Säll is with Sweden’s eRoadArlanda project, which is developing technology for electrifying roadways.

The system works by retrofitting roadways with a thin metal rail that delivers a charge to electric cars passing overhead.

Säll: “This is a solution that you can implement in the existing infrastructure. You don’t have to build new roads.”

To receive the charge, cars need to have a special connecting rod installed on the undercarriage.

Säll: “When you reach this kind of electric road, the connector will automatically go down and pick up electricity. As a driver, you don’t need to think about it at all.”

Researchers are now testing the technology using a truck on a 1.2 mile stretch of public road in Sweden.

There’s a long way to go before electric roads become common. But Säll says if it catches on, the technology may enable auto companies to build cars with smaller, less expensive batteries.

And, it could help reduce drivers’ anxiety about running out of power on the road.

Reporting credit: Anna Moritz/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Bruce Lieberman

Bruce Lieberman, a long-time journalist, has covered climate change science, policy, and politics for nearly two decades. A newspaper reporter for 20 years, Bruce worked for The San Diego Union-Tribune...