How can electricity be fed from the road without hazard to people and animals?
The electric conductors are lowered into the road and cannot be touched just by walking on the rail. The conductors are divided into sections that are only energized when a vehicle passes that section of rail. This is only initiated by vehicles that drive at a minimum velocity and is then only persistent for a short period of time.
How are stones, sand and water on the road handled?
The contact is designed to handle both small and big obstacles. Small obstacles are thrown out of the rail while the contact is designed to survive collision with bigger obstacles. Water will also be thrown out by the contact.
How is snow and ice handled?
The contact is designed to plow away light snow. Dense snow will be removed by a small addition to the snowplow truck. A heating device incorporated in the track handles ice.
Is it possible to overtake?
When overtaking another vehicle the movable arm under the car will reach an end position and this causes the arm to be lifted from the rail and the car will continue driving fed by the battery. When the car returns to the electrified lane the contact will search for and find the rail and the contact is lowered into contact with the conductor and power is fed into the car again.
Does an electric car not have big CO2– emissions as electricity is generated by fossil fuels?
If the roads should be electrified today big savings would be done as today´s vehicles emit so much CO2. In the future the road vehicles will be better in this respect but the electricity generating system will have improved so much that the saving still will be very big.
Is there enough electricity for all electric vehicles?
Should all cars in Sweden be electrified and only operate on electricity around 25 TWh of additional electricity would be needed. Sweden uses today around 155 TWh. This is an increase of 16 percent and corresponds approximately to the planned increase in wind Power.
Will the cars not be much weaker if operated by electricity?
An ordinary car uses only between 15 and 20 kW at a velocity of 90 km/h. A big truck uses around 150 kW. In order to overtake and keep the speed on an incline the motors are powered up between five and ten times. Electric motors have a much better torque than fuel cars and do not need a gearbox. This means that the maximum power can be reduced somewhat and still maintain the same performance. In Elways the concept of feeding from the road the average power consumption required is only 15 kW for a car and 150 kW for a truck. When overtaking and in slopes the excess power is taken from the battery, so the driver will not notice any reduction in performance.
Does it not cost a fortune to electrify the roads of a country?
To electrify the 2000 km roads in Sweden with conductive feeding is estimated to cost around 80 Billion SEK. This could be compared to the cost today of fuel to Sweden’s road vehicles which is around 42 Billion SEK/year (seven million cubic meters times six thousand SEK/cubic meter) without tax. The cost of 25 TWh with an electricity price of 0.40 SEK/kWh (without tax) is 10 Billion SEK/year. The saving would be 32 Billion SEK per year. Assuming that electric cars with small batteries would cost the same as fuel cars then it would take three years to pay off the investment.
Ordinary cars can be fed as conductive feeding is done by very lightweight contacts and the system has power to feed trucks so if needed excess power could be supplied for ordinary cars for instance, when they are accelerating uphill.
Can trucks be fedd from the road?
The system is designed to feed trucks. Sliding contacts are very efficient to transmit power and even a big truck needs quite a small contact point
Will the rail be pushed out of the road at frost heave?
This would be unacceptable but could happen if the rail would not be designed to handle this situation. Furthermore, most roads that would be electrified are big roads that are constructed in a way that frost heaving is not a considerable problem.
How can the car know that the road is electrified?
The moveable arm has a sensor that feels when there is a rail in the road and will automatically locate this rail and insert the contact into the rail.
BiIing for the electricity used can be handled in different ways. One way is to have a meter in the vehicle, which is read at regular intervals. Another way is to measure the current every vehicle takes from the road. The latter method is more complex but with today’s computational power it might still not be so difficult. The invoicing will certainly be solved if the technology of supplying power from road to vehicle can be solved.
What is the saving of electric feeding?
As there is a big profit in feeding vehicles by electricity compared to the investment of electrifying the roads there are great possibilities that the drivers of the vehicles could get reduced costs. In the calculations taxes have not been included. Taxes are another discussion.
In addition to savings on fuel cost electric feeding could eventually totally avoid carbon dioxide. Each of these advantages would justify electrification of the roads.
Who has patented the technology?
Investigations show that conductive feeding is the most cost effective alternative. Elways has applied for twenty Swedish patents to cover most aspects of the technology. All of these applications are approved. Elways has also applied for international patents.