Electrified roads have just been introduced in Sweden. As more and more people are moving towards environmentally-friendly transportation, innovation in the electric vehicle sector is of growing importance. With over 2 million people driving electric vehiclesworldwide, the electric technology has a need to move forward with the demand.
Electric vehicles have gained massive popularity over the past few years, with companies such as Tesla and BMW rolling out some seriously impressive electric cars. While a growing number of people are ditching their gas cars, there’s still a concern over battery range and the concept of charging stations. Also known as “range anxiety,” this hesitation has lead to only 20% of gas car owners to consider going electric in the future.
The ranges of electric vehicles are on the incline. At their first few debut years, electric vehicles boasted a dismal range that caused many consumers to avoid driving them. Now, electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model 3 have ranges exceeding 300 miles. But what about road trips? Or a lack of charging stations at work? These questions used to be hard ones to overcome, but not anymore.
Electrified Roads: How Do They Work?
It’s pretty amazing to think about a road actually charging your car as you drive it. Instead of spending hours at the charging station or plugging it in overnight to charge, all you would need to do is drive. Your morning commute would power your car, and recharging wouldn’t even be a concern.
But for now, there’s only one electrified road in the world, and it’s in Sweden. By embedding an electric rail into the asphalt, the road is able to transmit electrical energy to the cars and trucks that drive on it. All that the car needs is to use a moveable, attachable arm that connects to the center of the lanes. The pulling energy from the car on the road then charges the battery.
When the car isn’t moving on the electrified road, the charging stops. This embedded electricity is dependent on the motion of the vehicle, which makes it safe for humans to walk and bike on it. These features make it possible for Sweden to implement their electric roads in public places, with the first one stretching a 1.2 miles long.
With Sweden testing this technology, they are in talks to bring an impactful network of these electrified roads to Berlin.
The potential of electrified roads is huge, especially for the health of our environment. Transportation is a major contributor to global warming, due to the gases required to power the trucks, trains, and other popular transportation modes. In fact, the transportation industry is responsible for 25-30% of all greenhouse gas emissions. But, if these trucks and trains were able to become electric, the electrified roads could power some of our most damaging transportation methods and greatly reduce emissions. And this reality might not be too far from now; Tesla has even just revealed their new all-electric Semi.
Electric Cars’ Impact on the Environment
Cars, trucks, and other forms of transportation are the biggest contributors to air pollution in the United States. The gasses and and fuel spills lead to global warming, acid rain, and other dangers to human and animal health. Nearly half of the carbon monoxide content in the air is directly from cars, coming in at around 51%. And sadly, people aren’t transitioning to electric vehicles as quickly as they need to be in order to reduce the damage to the environment.
It’s important to also keep in mind that everything that we do that involves CO2 emissions has a lasting effect on the planet. Every time that we drive a gas car or take any form of gas-powered transportation, the CO2 emissions don’t just vanish. It actually takes years for CO2 to be removed from the atmosphere, and 20% of those emissions may stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years.
While it may seem like each car ride yields an insignificant amount of CO2, it’s actually a big deal. Even the best energy conservers in America have a carbon footprint of about 8.5 tons annually. The average person comes in at about 20 tons.
By 2030, 95% of US car miles will be from on-demand electric vehicles. As long as the energy comes from cleaner sources, we should see a major reduction in transportation-based pollution.
Thankfully, more environmentally-friendly options are coming into effect, due to an increase in awareness of global climate change. Electric cars are becoming known as a feasible option for the majority of commuters, with 70% of drivers on the road for less than 60 miles per workday. This is well within the range of most electric cars, which opens the doors for millions of people to switch to electric vehicles. All it takes is the proper information to see that the stigma around “range anxiety” is obsolete now, and electric cars make a significant difference in the health of our planet. Plus, with the advancements in road technology, the future of transportation could be completely electric. Since we’re moving towards it, why not embrace an electric vehicle yourself?
Although there is currently only one road in the world that can boast electric energy abilities, its invention paints a bigger picture. Within a few years, we can expect to see more roads like this one popping up in major cities across America. Sweden is already planning to be a fossil fuel-free country by 2030, and it’s only a matter of time before the world follows suit. The future of fully electric, gas-free transportation is upon us, and the results will be monumental in the grand scheme of things.