Why electric road systems?

One important factor in the development of the roads of the future is the requirement for reduced CO2 emissions, especially from heavy goods vehicles (HGV). According to consultancy firm WSP, it could be possible for two thirds of HGV transport activities in Sweden to take place on electric road systems by 2030.

Sweden is a role model in this area. It was back in 2016 that the world’s very first electric section of road for HGVs was created, on the E16 north of Stockholm. A few years later there was a corresponding initiative in Germany.

The focus is on HGVs. This is because the batteries used in private cars do not have sufficient capacity for use in vehicles that have to drive long distances with a heavy load. An electric road system provides even the heaviest vehicles with sufficient power, which is supplemented by standard batteries when the vehicle leaves the road to deliver its load. For Swedish conditions, the Swedish Transport Administration believes that it will be profitable to build electric road systems covering 2-3,000 km of the national road network.

Such a transition requires significant investments in new, powerful electricity grids that can supply power to the major motorways. Another challenge is the fact that a process of expansion is under way across Europe, which in turn requires an international standard defining how electrically powered vehicles are to be charged while driving. Only then can it be possible to transport goods using HGVs from Malaga in the south all the way to North Cape in Norway, without the need to re-fuel.

Projects

Sokndal, Norway

The recently opened Motorcenter Norway offers everything from go-carting to drag racing. Nynas was involved in the project by supplying Nypol HF 105, a polymer-modified bitumen ideal for pavements that are subjected to high stresses.

Projects

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Älvsborg Bridge spans the estuary of the Göta Älv river at the entrance to Gothenburg and the biggest port in Scandinavia. The bridge, officially opened in 1966, has a total length of 930 m and a suspended span of 418 m. To guarantee the bridge's functionality and extend its useful life, extensive maintenance work has been under way since 2019, the third and final stage being completed this summer.

Talking point

Road infrastructure in North-Western Europe

Even though many successful road projects have been completed in Western Europe in recent years, the durability and availability of the road infrastructure needs to be improved.

Interview

Paving the way for asphalt 4.0

Digitalisation is making inroads in the asphalt industry. The latest Eurasphalt & Eurobitume (E&E) Congress was held virtually in June. It was a success, but the next E&E event will allow industry stakeholders to meet face-to-face.

Noted

All the key players are working together to achieve the best possible result.

Katri Eskola, Specialist Road Maintenance Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

Talking point: The COVID-19 pandemic


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