Imagine a future where power lines are built into the surface of the road and trucks and buses continuously are supplied with electric power without carrying large batteries. Wouldn’t that be a great? However, the good news is in the mean time, Volvo has brought an electric road concept that may enable the electric vehicles (EV) to run on the road without carrying any batteries.
For long time, Volvo has been actively engaged in EV research and development. Recently, along with power generation and transport firm Alstom, Volvo has constructed a 400 meter (1,312 feet) -long track at a facility in Hällered near Gothenburg. This track has been built to test a truck fitted with a special collector that draws its power from rails installed into the surface of the road. One side of the track is a positive pole, and the other is used to return the current. The lines are sectioned so that live current can only be delivered to a collector mounted at the rear of, or under, the truck if an appropriate signal is detected. As an additional safety measure, the current flows only when the vehicle is moving at speeds greater than 60 km/h (37 mph).
Volvo’s Per-Martin Johnansson said, “The vehicle is equipped with a radio emitter, which the road segments can sense. If an electric vehicle passes a road segment with a proper encrypted signal, then the road will energize the segments that sense the vehicle.”
At the moment, this system is managed locally using smart sensors, but there is scope for remote operation and monitoring, and it’s reported capable of providing much more power, if needed. There’s also a possibility that the technology could be adapted to deliver AC in the future.