Sweden’s electric road to be operational by 2025

Sweden is electrifying its roads to slash carbon emissions

An electric truck on a public road with Elways ground-level power supply, near Arlanda Airport, Stockholm in 2019 - WIKIPEDIA

Environmental matters are always close to the heart of the people in the Nordic countries.

During my stay in Stockholm and visits to various parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, I noticed the sustained passion and eco-friendly nature among many people – something that appears to be so ingrained in their culture.

I was always awestruck by the palpable concern many people had for their environment. Only after delving deeply and chatting with the locals did I realise the reasons. Climate change is expected to hit these countries and global warming is no longer just a perceived threat.

Rainfall has increased in many places. Inevitably, rising sea levels and storm surges will threaten low-lying cities along Scandinavia’s coasts.

So, it is natural for people in these countries to be continually innovative in devising ways to reduce the impact of climate change. Now, Sweden plans to build electric roads to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration, is constructing the first permanent electric road, a 21km stretch of the two-lane E20 between Hallsberg and Örebro, and they expect it to be operational by 2025.

The technology has yet to be adopted for the construction of the electric road to be used by heavy transport trucks.

Recently, Trafikverket partially financed an experimental pilot project in the municipality of Lund, with a ground-level feeding system that charges vehicles (with retractable electrical pick-ups) as they pass over it.

The consortium that worked on the €9.2m pilot scheme is EVolutionRoad, comprising nine players from the business sector, universities and the public sector.

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The EVolutionRoad scheme has been running since 2020, gathering data from an electric bus running the route for one week in each month.

An August 2020 report by the Region Örebro County noted that many haulage companies in the area find the electrification of the road suitable for the transportation of their products.

The E20 European highway in Örebro County’s pilot project is a good test-bed for the large-scale electrification of roads. The volume of goods transported in Örebro County is sufficient to enable Trafikverket to collect data over time, even if the project does not lead to a national electrification road system.

The Örebro County is specifically earmarked for the electrification of roads as most of the freight transported between northern and southern Sweden passes through this region. The report further stated that goods transported by trucks in the region will increase by 46% by 2040.

Based on its freight transport forecast, Trafikverket projects the annual traffic growth rate to rise by 1.1% up to 2040 and 0.8% in 2040-2065. The Örebro region has become a hub for logistics establishments, because of its strategic location in central Sweden.

Companies providing the electricity grid – Ellevio, Vattenfall and Svenska Kraftnät – have already ascertained the quantity of electrical energy required for such a road project.

Supporting this project is the Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises (Transportföretagen), which believes the action plan presented by the Swedish electrification commission on boosting e-vehicles is a move in the right direction.

With Swedes becoming more conscious of the need to slash carbon emissions, Transportföretagen expects more investments in electrified transport and electrified road networks, as well as a long-term plan for electric vehicles charging infrastructure.

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The confederation believes this project can complement Sweden’s efforts to achieve its climate change goals. It also feels that it would be much cheaper to expand electrified roads than to construct new electric rail lines.

Since 2013 Sweden began evaluating several types of electric road technology. A published report on the ground-level power supply for electric roads is expected by 14 November 2022. The final report from the Swedish electrification commission is expected by the end of 2022. By early 2023 the technology selected by Trafikverket’s for the electric roads will be announced.

The first permanent electric road in Sweden is scheduled to be operational by 2025. The project will be on the section of the E20 route between Hallsberg and Örebro. A further expansion of 3,000km of electric roads is scheduled to be completed by 2045.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
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Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. He covered all five Nordic countries in the course of his work. A pragmatic optimist and now an Aliran member, he believes Malaysia can provide its people with the same benefits found in the Nordic countries - not a far-fetched dream but one he hopes will be realised in his lifetime
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Paul Lim
Paul Lim
9 Oct 2022 2.34pm

It is good to have this writer to write about all the good of Sweden and the other Nordic countries but he has to recognise that they are no more models for the rest of the world to look at not even other European countries. Under the influence of Neo-Liberalism that model of Society has for example created the widening gap between rich and poor, the privatisation of éducation in Sweden with all its resulting inequalities, an intolérance for migrants which has also to do with extreme right-wing parties coming into power etc. The social democratic tradition in the Nordic countries are falling or fell apart to varying degrees. The Advent of right-wing and extreme right parties in coalition government is becoming real.