Electric roads can complement the fossil-free transport network of the future. As part of the Swedish Transport Administration’s electrification programme for the national road network for heavy goods vehicles, we are planning a electric road project.
The purpose of the pilot electric road project is to verify and demonstrate the technology by installing and testing a complete electric road system with ancillary services, toll and access system, etc. This pilot project will be Sweden’s first permanent electric road.
Decision on choice of route: Sweden’s first electric road will be constructed between Hallsberg and Örebro
It has now been decided that Sweden’s first permanent electric road will be built on the section of the E20 European motorway between Hallsberg and Örebro. This investment in electric roads is intended to contribute to the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from freight traffic.
Heavy goods vehicles are responsible for a large proportion of carbon dioxide emissions from road traffic. We need to analyse how various electrification solutions to bring us closer to the goal of fossil-free transport actually work in practice.
The choice of route was between the E20 Hallsberg–Örebro and Route 73 Västerhaninge–Nynäshamn. The priorities and choice of route have been based on a number of criteria such as road type, traffic volumes, transport arrangements, the natural and cultural environment, the available power supply and national defence interests.
Örebro and Hallsberg are located in the middle of the logistics triangle between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. In addition, we have seen that a number of companies use this particular route for a great deal of their transport. Taken together, this provides good conditions for the pilot to realise the anticipated results, as well as being important prerequisites for any future expansion.
There is a consensus between the Swedish Transport Administration and Region Örebro County on the need to transport goods in a climate-smart manner in an area of growing logistical importance to Sweden.
What happens now?
In August 2023, the Swedish Transport Administration decided to cancel the procurement. Throughout the procurement process, it became apparent that the cost of building Sweden’s first electric road would significantly exceed the financial estimates. This is in part due to changes in the global market, i.e., increased inflation and decreased access to materials and resources. At the current stage, the project lacks the funding required to build the electric road.
The Swedish Transport Administration is proceeding by analysing how to continue the project and how to make it more cost-efficient in order to build the electric road in the future.