Volvo has announced plans to study the potential for electric roads that charge buses as they're being driven. The study will be carried out in partnership with the Swedish Transport Administration to further develop sustainable transport. A stretch of electric road may be built in Gothenburg for testing.
Volvo has already been testing electric rails built into the road as a means of powering long-haul trucks. It also already produces environmentally-friendly electric buses that are used in Gothenburg.
Now, it will look at the feasibility of combining those two concepts. The idea would allow vehicles to be charged wirelessly while they are on the move, without their having to be stationary at a charging point. The vehicles would be charged via electromagnetic induction, in the same way that some electric buses in Korea already are.
In order to carry out the study, Volvo will work with the Swedish Transport Administration to put together a proposal for building a section of road that is equipped with the charging technology. The section of road would be located on an existing bus route in Gothenburg, and the test data collected would be used to inform future discussion and decisions on the use of such technology.
"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 for corporate sustainability and public affairs of the Volvo Group. "Close cooperation between society and industry is needed for such a development to be possible and we look forward to investigating the possibilities together with the City of Gothenburg."