Electric roads soon on French soil ?
A brand-new type of road could be tested on the A10 motorway near Paris.
Electric vehicles will be able to recharge their batteries simply by driving on them.
These roads will be equipped with “magnetic induction coils or rails inserted flush with the asphalt to connect to the ground.” These roads could enable a reduction of “62 to 71% in the range required for normal car use.”
This new road will make it possible to clear up the questions that still hang over before “deploying these technologies on a large scale over hundreds or thousands of kilometers.”
The very first tests will be carried out on a closed Cerema track in Rouen, before moving on to a busy road.
These initial tests will be carried out under the supervision of the French Ministry of Ecological Transition. If the results are convincing, the tests will continue on the A10.
The two competing systems come from two different countries.
The induction charging system comes from an Israeli start-up called Electreon.
It uses magnetic coils slid under the asphalt. This system is currently being tested in Israel, Sweden, the United States and Italy.
The second system consists of rails to which cars must be connected, and on which only compatible vehicles can travel.
The rails are supplied by the Elonroad consortium, where the system has been tested in Sweden since 2019.
The experiment launched by Vinci in France has anticipated the “cost”: 26 million euros will be set aside for the said operation.
Hutchinson, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, is in charge of manufacturing the coils, while Gustave-Eiffel University is in charge of “assessing the efficiency of each of the solutions so that they can be compared.”
Nevertheless, there are a few barriers to the development of this new technology :
– Induction is not very powerful and is fairly expensive.
– The rail can quickly become dirty, making the journey more dangerous, especially for two–wheelers.
Another possibility is being studied in Germany: it would supply power only to trucks and operate on the basis of a tramway with a catenary.
However, the pylons required for this system could be dangerous for road traffic.
Tests carried out in France should shed light on the subject in a few years’ time.
To be continued..