Swedish electric road developer Elonroad said it has raised nearly US$1 million from an investor as the manufacturer looks to commercialise its systems.
The investment in Elonroad by Almi Invest Greentech is part of a major share issue that has raised round $2.65 million. Other investors include transport and logistics company Bring and EU venture capital fund EIT Urban Mobility.
Elonroad has developed an electric road solution whereby vehicles are charged using a rail either on top of, or embedded in, the pavement. The company will be responsible for manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of its systems.
Elonroad also said that two pilot projects in collaboration with Bring will be launched in Sweden and Norway. This includes stationary charging solutions for electric vehicles used by Bring.
Meanwhile, Elonroad announced that the Port of Helsingborg will become a test bed for its system. Initially, two of the port's electric cars will be rebuilt to test the charging rails. The technology has been tested on a public road, but using it in a port where it will carry continuous traffic will be a first, according to Christina Argelius, technical manager at the port.
She noted that becoming a test bed for the solution is another step for the port of Helsingborg towards becoming the most sustainable port in Sweden. Swedish power company Öresundskraft is also involved in the project to gain more experience of new electrification technologies.
Technology at the port will be showcased at Helsingborg’s H22 City Expo in summer 2022, where solutions for charging electric vehicles and for the electrification of the transport sector in general will be presented.
Helsingborg, with a population of around 140,000, lies around 555km south of the Swedish capital Stockholm. The H22 City Expo will focus on long-term innovation to make urban environments more sustainable through improved transportation, buildings and outdoor living spaces.
Elonroad recently announced that as a member of Evolution Road, a Swedish public-private group, it will set up a second phase of its electric road installation in the town of Lund. The consortium said in March that is designing and will start installing a flatter version of its electric rail that has been laid down in the middle of a road lane. The first test vehicle, an electric bus from Solaris, has been running journeys since last June.
The current system consists of a conductive rail attached to the surface of the road. The newer system will be recessed into the asphalt to create a seamless road surface making the system especially suitable for roads with higher vehicle speeds.
A conductive pick-up under the vehicle connects to the electric rail via sliding contacts. The rail is electrified when covered by the vehicle, making it safe to use in an urban environment.
The version installed on top of the road is 4cm high and 35cm wide, with inclined sides of only 10° to make it smooth when changing lanes. The rail is electrified by roadside power units that deliver up to 300kW with 97% efficiency while driving, according to the project details.