Electric Roads Animation (Text Version)

This text version of the e-roadway animation describes how electric roads can reduce petroleum consumption and vehicle operating costs while extending the range of electric vehicles.

Part One: E-Roadway Introduction and Benefits

Reducing emissions and oil consumption are crucial worldwide goals. Many technologies can contribute to achieving these goals—efficient homes, biofuels, hybrid electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, electric vehicles, and solar and wind. Reducing transportation emissions, in particular, is key to reducing overall emissions.

Background images include:

  1. A U.S. map with text (80% overall emissions reduction by 2050)
  2. A chart showing rising U.S. fuel economy standards (from 35.5 mpg in 2016 to 54.5 mpg in 2025)
  3. A California map with text (80% transportation emissions reduction by 2050)
  4. A European Union map with text (20% overall emissions reduction by 2020).

Electric-drive vehicle appears on roadway. Parts of roadway are glowing to indicate that they are electrified.

As a complement to multi-modal options, electrification of highly utilized roadway segments could be part of the solution. E-roadways would allow electric vehicles to charge while driving. The physical embodiment of the e-roadway system has yet to be determined. Current options include conductive overhead catenary lines, conductive in-road rails, inductive in-road pads, and inductive in-road strips.

Most vehicles can use e-roadways—passenger and freight vehicles; electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV); transit buses; and commercial trucks.

Potential benefits of e-roadways:

  • Reduce petroleum consumption because electricity is used instead of gasoline
  • Cut vehicle fuel costs by about 70%
  • Increase electric vehicle consumer appeal by extending electrified driving range.

Part Two: A Potential Day in the Life of an E-Roadway Capable Vehicle

It is early morning, and a sedan is parked inside the garage of a typical looking house. The car is charging wirelessly, and the battery reaches a full charge.

Driver is notified that e-roadway has available capacity. Vehicle in electric mode during 5-mile drive to the highway.

Dashboard display prompts driver to confirm e-roadway integration. Display flashes from yellow to green as the e-roadway is engaged. Power gauge shows a fluctuating mix of engine, battery, and e-roadway power.

Driver confirms e-roadway integration. Vehicle engages e-roadway. Vehicle is now using a blend of engine, battery, and e-roadway power. Battery depletion from driving demands may be recharged via e-roadway.

Driver takes exit, leaving the e-roadway. Vehicle returns to battery mode. Driver arrives at work.

Car pulls into parking space outside office building. Dashboard display shows e-roadway analysis report including miles driven, e-roadway miles, and gasoline-reduction estimate.

When more people use e-roadways, the per-use cost decreases. To reduce emissions, e-roadway power can come from renewable sources.

Chart shows EV load fluctuating during the hours of the day. Another chart shows a future Colorado grid scenario with the mix of energy coming from coal, natural gas, hydro, storage, other, photovoltaics, and wind. Background images include wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays.

Time lapse to end of workday. Car departs parking lot and enters non-electrified highway. Dashboard display shows that vehicle is using a mix of gasoline and battery power.

After charging at work, driver departs. Driver enters non-electrified roadway. Vehicle uses both gasoline and battery power. Battery meter indicates a 77% charge.

Vehicle enters e-roadway. Vehicle is now powered by e-roadway.

Background images include a car, bus, and truck driving along the e-roadway. As these vehicles travel, sections of the road glow to indicate alignment with e-roadway.

Passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles can all use e-roadways. Wireless communication helps align vehicles with e-roadway.

Car returns to garage and connects with stationary wireless charger. Dashboard display shows connection to wireless charger. Pop-up requests time of next departure, which is verified by driver.

Driver returns home and connects to wireless charger. After confirming departure time, the vehicle automatically determines the time to start charging.

Time lapse to early morning.

Charging automatically begins at 2 a.m.

HEVs, EVs, and PHEVs all benefit if enabled for electrified roadways. HEVs and PHEVs get additional EV capabilities. EVs get expanded range of operation between primary charging events.

Part Three: Electrified Roadway and Vehicle Systems Concept

This illustrative vision shows how e-roadways could support a future multi-modal clean transportation system. Simultaneously adding renewables to the grid would maximize sustainability and carbon emission reductions. Electrifying the most heavily traveled roads and supporting many types of vehicles would deliver the greatest value.

Background images include wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays along the highway.

Sponsored by the Clean Transportation Sector Initiative, an interagency effort between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Prepared by NREL in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration.