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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Electric Charging – Running the Sweden Way

“We should move towards alternative fuel… I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you. I will bulldoze it.” 

These are the strong words said by India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, something which will lead to a complete overhaul of the power delivery system in the vehicles and the facilities required for it.

While many experts believe that India is not yet ready for such a huge mutation, there are already many countries, testing out their new techies such as Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection, Self-Driving Car, Biometric Vehicle Access, Active Windows Display, Comprehensive Vehicle Tracking and what not!

But out of all these gadgets and advancements, there is one thing that stands out – World’s first road that allows electric vehicles to recharge as they drive. Implemented in Sweden, the electrified road works by transferring charge from the rail through a floating arm on the bottom on the electric vehicles. When the vehicle moves over the rail, the floating arm, equipped with various sensors, detects its location and moves into contact with it. The floating arm automatically raises when vehicle starts getting misaligned from the rail, especially while overtaking.

The rail is coupled with the power grid and the energy consumption is calculated for applying individual electricity cost. Even though only 1.2 miles of electric rails have been built at various places, plans are already in place to expand the project throughout the country. The ‘Dynamic Charging’, as compared to the roadside charging post, means that vehicle’s batteries can be smaller which will ultimately help in – reducing its manufacturing cost, not judging a vehicle’s performance based on its range (which has been one of the biggest problems faced in India) and helps achieving independence from fossil fuels. According to statistics, with the cost of €1m per kilometer, the cost of electrification is said to be 50 times lower than that required to set up an urban tram line, this project can surely be looked up to for changing the source of energy used in transportation.

Despite the fact that this project has still a long way to go, but it is one of the most effective methods which can help India and Mr. Gadkari to take a step forward towards achieving ‘Full electrification by 2030’.

NOTE:The views expressed here are those of the author's and not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DoT Club as a whole.

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