Closeup of an electric rail embedded in the snowcovered road. An electrically driven truck as well as other vehicles are visible in the background.

NCC Develops Electric Road

Vehicles that charge themselves while they are being driven – it may sound like a fantasy but it is about to become a reality. Close to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, NCC is developing electric roads.

Since 2011, NCC has, in collaboration with Elways, been working towards realising the dream of electric roads. Over a period of several years, the technology, which is based on an electric rail embedded in the road surface and which charges vehicles as they drive along it, has been tested on a testing track at Arlanda, with very good results.

Sweden's first electric road

In 2017, the technology will be used in the building of Sweden’s first electric road between Arlanda airport and the logistics centre at Rosersberg. The road will extend for two kilometres and will, among others, be used by PostNord’s delivery trucks.

NCC’s part of the project is primarily to develop the technology, methods and equipment to make possible the laying and stabilising of the power rails in the road surface in a rational and efficient manner. With the technology we have developed, 1 km of road can be electrified every hour. We are also looking at the operation and maintenance of the electric road.

Electric roads are climate-smart 

Today, road traffic accounts for 33 % of carbon dioxide emissions in Sweden, and freight transport accounts for one-third of this. Electric roads reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80-90 %. The technology we have developed can easily be integrated into the existing road system. Another advantage is that it also is socio-economically justifiable.

2 to 4 % of the road network

One of the socio-economic factors is that only the main motorways – constituting two to four percent of the road network – need to be electrified. Shorter journeys between these roads can be undertaken using battery power. In addition to a large reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, electric roads would represent a lower total cost than today’s fossil-fuel driven road vehicles.

The consultancy company WSP has performed calculations that show that two thirds of road freight transportation in Sweden could be made on electric roads by 2030, which would reduce energy use by approximately 10 TWh.

“Smart roads” are the future

There are many indications that the roads of the future will be “smart roads”, where both road-users and others are able to retrieve different types of information, from road surface conditions to traffic updates. Electronic roads constitute a natural part of this development.

Trafikverket supports electric roads

The electric roads project at Arlanda is supported financially by Trafikverket (Swedish Transport Administration), Vinnova and Energimyndigheten (Swedish Energy Agency). In June 2015, Trafikverket announced that our electric road project is one of two that would be receiving financial support and that would be implemented on a full scale.

In our work to realise electric roads, we are working together with:
NCC, Elways, Kilenkrysset, WSP Analys & Strategi, Airport City Stockholm (co-owned by Swedavia, Sigtuna municipality and Arlandastad Holding AB), PostNord, ABT Bolagen, e-Traction, DAF, VTI and KTH.

Hans Säll, Business Development NCC Infrastructure. Photo/illustration: Erik Mårtensson
Hans Säll

Business Development, Chairman eRoadArlanda, NCC Infrastructure

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