Elways solution

Elways has chosen to develop conductive feeding from the road. The picture shows how the electric power is fed from the electric grid trough transforming in two steps to low voltage via a fast switch and further via a movable arm to the battery charger of the vehicle and finally reach the electric motor either directly or through the battery.

Road cross-section

The illustration above is shown a cross-section of the road with rail in each half and cables buried outside the roadway.

Solved problems

The feed from the road has been tested with Elway's technology for many years and solutions to the following challenges have been developed:

  • Personal safety
  • Objects on the road such as stones and sand
  • Rain, snow and ice
  • Overtaking

Personal safety

The most important of the issues raised concerning direct feeding from the road is the safety of people and animals on the road. To have an exposed and energized conductor outside a fenced area requires special solutions.
But we can compare with sockets in the walls. Here one can get an electric shock if one puts a metal object into the sockets. This is, however, well known and accepted and it happens very seldom.

The feed from the road has been tested with Elway's technology for many years and solutions to the following challenges have been developed:

Elways solution to the safety issue:

The conductor is located in a trench below the surface of the road and cannot be touched by just walking on it. It takes that you put a thin finger of an object into the trench to make contact with the conductor.

Only short parts of the trench are energized at any one time, only when a vehicle passes that stretch of road. If someone should put two fingers into the track he/she might get an electric shock but he/she will sure be run over by the vehicle that has initiated the energizing some seconds later.

If a vehicle should stop the electricity will not be turned on. This is because the velocity is calculated and below a lower velocity limit the electricity is not turned on.

All systems can fail so the switches are supervised. Should there be voltage travelling along the trench without cars passing, the whole section will be taken out by a breaker switch.

All electrified roads will have signs stating that they are electrified and that one should not put fingers or objects into the rail.

The media should also be utilised to inform what electrified roads are and how to behave when travelling on them.

Obstacles on the road

Bigger obstacles can be discovered by radar of the same kind as are used today to discover animals and people on the road. At discovery of an object the contact arm is lifted up in order to avoid damage to it. 
Smaller obstacles can be handled by a special design of the contact that makes it survive a collision with smaller stones and other small objects. This has been tested in full speed and the solution works satisfactorily.