Cable free charging for electric vehicles – built into the road surface. As the first port in the world to do so, the Port of Helsingborg is working with Elonroad to test a new kind of electric road system for charging the port’s vehicles. The result is reduced emissions, better air quality, and less noise.
There is a global and urgent need for sustainable transport, of both people and goods, but this requires us to test solutions at a local level that can then be scaled up and shared. This is the basis for Elonroad’s business concept: A high-tech electric road system that can charge all types of electric vehicles, whether parked or in motion. This electric road technology could extend the range of electric vehicles and would also reduce the need for large and heavy batteries.
A collaboration between Elonroad and the Port of Helsingborg was initiated, where the technology is tested inside the port area. The Port is a high-traffic environment where an electric road system would be of great benefit in reducing emissions. At the same time, the area is demarcated, making it a perfect test bed for developing the technology.
“Elonroad wants to contribute to the sustainable electrification of transport and climate-smart mobility. With our electric road system’s dynamic charging function, there is a reduced need for big batteries that require significant natural resources. When we came into contact with the Port of Helsingborg through H22, we realised that it’s a perfect place to test our technology – a controlled environment that also enables operational freedom. At the same time, our solution is well in line with the Port’s ambitions to become fossil-free,” says Karin Ebbinghaus, CEO of Elonroad.
The system involves a conductive rail on the road surface that is activated when a pick-up under the vehicle automatically connects to the electric rail. The cable free function makes it easy to use in an urban environment and the concept works on both moving and stationary vehicles. As part of the H22 collaboration, Elonroad – together with the electric car pool company Move About, Öresundskraft, and the city – is now testing the world’s first cable free charging station for the electric car pool cars on Rektorsgatan in Helsingborg.
“Our hope is that there will be more electric roads in Sweden. There are plans for one between Örebro and Hallsberg, and we are waiting for word on whether we can build an electric road outside of Paris.”
For the Port of Helsingborg, the testing with Elonroad is another piece of the puzzle in the transition towards becoming Sweden’s most sustainable port. The electricity demand would be evened out and the peaks in the Port’s consumption would disappear if vehicles could be charged during production instead of planned stops. At the same time, production would not be held up by stationary charging. The test phase is being evaluated at the end of 2022.
“It is exciting to test the technology in our continuous flows. Right now, we are testing on a relatively small scale with a couple of lighter vehicles, and the hope is that it can be scaled up for larger vehicles and volumes. Of course, this requires that it also works well at high volume and is a cost-effective alternative. If, for example, our terminal tractors could be charged while waiting for the next container from the crane, this would be a major advantage,” says Christina Argelius, Chief Technology Officer at the Port of Helsingborg.
The testing during H22 has attracted attention worldwide, and in the autumn of 2022, delegations from Japan and Belgium have visited Helsingborg to learn more and see how they can potentially use the technology in the future. The delegations were from the company Aisin and were very interested in Helsingborg’s work with innovation, logistics, electrification, urban development, and public transport in the city centre.