April and May 2018 saw the inauguration of two innovative pilot projects on the ‘electrification of roads’. Both could help support the transition to carbon neutral transport. While one project attempts to generate clean energy through a photovoltaic road surface, the other aims to provide electric power and recharge vehicles during their journey.
Solar road in Utrecht
On the 24 May 2018, a new trial site was opened in the province of Utrecht to test a new ‘solar road’. Solar panels have been integrated into the road surface on a stretch of the N401 road to supply clean, renewable energy, under all types of vehicle traffic.
The photovoltaic road surface, called ‘Wattway’, has been developed in France and is now being tested on a well-used road…
The use of solar panels on roads could make an important contribution to the generation of sustainable energy and the sustainability of infrastructure. Its designers estimate that a one-kilometre stretch of road paved with ‘Wattway’ would be able provide enough electricity to power public lighting in a city of 5,000 inhabitants. An additional advantage is that the landscape is not affected.
April 2018 saw the inauguration of another innovative pilot project: eRoadArlanda. It concerns a Swedish innovation and the first road of its kind to allow both commercial and passenger vehicles to be recharged while driving.
The goal of the project is to generate knowledge, experience and data that is conducive to the creation of a platform for the electrification of larger transport routes in Sweden. It is part of the Swedish Transport Administration’s pre-commercial procurement of innovation.