Volvo tests electric roads

The Volvo Group will study the potential for building electric roads, where city buses can be charged from electricity in the road at the same time as the bus is in operation. A test road may be built as early as 2015.

The study, which will be conducted in collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration, marks the next step in the development of sustainable transport solutions. “Vehicles capable of being charged directly from the road during operation could become the next pioneering step in the development towards reduced environmental impact,” says Niklas Gustavsson, Executive Vice President of Corporate Sustainability & Public Affairs of the Volvo Group.

With the use of an electric road, vehicle batteries would continuously be charged wirelessly during operation by transferring energy from the electricity grid to a vehicle, instead of charging the bus while it is standing still at charging stations. Volvo believes this will result in quieter and more climate-smart public transport.

The next step for the Swedish vehicle manufacturer is to build a 300- to 500-metre electric road for test operations. The road will be built along a bus line in central Gothenburg and be tested for public transport using Volvo plug-in hybrid buses that are already in operation. These buses currently charge their batteries at the end station, but the new electric road could increase the distance the buses can run on pure electricity.

“We are working on both a broad and a deep basis to develop the technology of tomorrow. Electric roads are another important part of the puzzle in our aim of achieving transport solutions that will minimize the impact on the environment,” says Gustavsson.

 

Photo credit: Björn/Creative Commons

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