Solaris Sverige AB, the Swedish market representative of Poland-based Solaris Bus & Coach company, is participating in the EVolution Road project which is creating an electric road which automatically detects and charges electric vehicles. A Solaris-built trolleybus will be adopted for test drives on a test road.
EVolution Road will enable battery charging for buses and eventually for other electric vehicles both while driving as well as at a standstill.
Initiated by the Swedish company Elonroad AB together with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Lund, this research and development project is a cooperation between members from the industry, academia and public sector.
The demonstration site is to be situated in the city of Lund in southern Sweden, where a one-kilometer section of the road will be equipped with conductive rails, each of them one meter long and laid atop the road. The rail is 5 cm high and 30 cm wide.
Elonroad 200m test track.
A specially developed conductive pick-up will be built into a Solaris Trollino trolleybus selected for test drives. The traction batteries of the vehicle will be charged as the pick-up receiver under the trolleybus connects with the conductive rail installed in the road.
Solaris will develop the technical integration between the onboard charging systems and the custom made conductive pick-up installed under the vehicle. The construction of the demo site starts in the first quarter of 2020 and the entire project will be running for three years. The total investment is €9 million and the procurer and main financier is the Swedish Transport Administration.
The road uses wireless communication to identify electric vehicles approaching and switches on the power in the 1m segments directly underneath the vehicle. The power can only be supplied in the areas where the pick-up receivers are able to connect with the rail and receive power. In all other segments in front and behind the moving vehicles the power will be turned off, making it safe to install this type of charging in both cities and on highways.
Among the main advantages of this type of in-motion charging is the fact that it significantly reduces the need for large, expensive and heavy traction batteries. This in turn results in reduced weight and cost of the electric vehicle. It also allows to save time as there in no more need for regular stops for the recharge.
The installation causes little interference with existing urban infrastructure. No masts nor overhead wires are needed, and no side-rails will be necessary to protect from collision with pantograph chargers’ masts. The plans assume that charges for using the electric road will be made automatically thanks to wireless communication between the vehicle and the road.
The partners in this project are Solaris, the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Lund municipality, Elonroad, Innovation Skåne AB, Kraftringen Energi AB, Ramboll AB and Skånetrafiken.