Fact Check: World's 'First Permanent Electrified Road' Is NOT Open As Of April 2024 -- Project In Sweden Is Paused

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: World's 'First Permanent Electrified Road' Is NOT Open As Of April 2024 -- Project In Sweden Is Paused Project Paused

Is the world's first permanent electrified road open in Sweden as of April 2024? No, that's not true: Several short sections of prototype electrified roadway in Sweden have been used to test various charging methods for electric cars and trucks. But the first large-scale, permanent and open-for-public-use electrified road has not been constructed. A 13-mile pilot project was to be developed along a section of European route E20 in Sweden between Hallsberg and Örebro, and built before 2025. The plan to build the electrified road was paused by the Swedish Transport Administration before the procurement phase because the project costs would have exceeded the budget.

The claim appeared in a meme (archived here) published on Threads on April 14, 2024, by @progressivepower. The post is captioned, "Cool" and the text caption on the meme reads:

World's first permanent Electrified road to charge Electric vehicles while driving opens in Sweden.


(Source: Threads screenshot taken on Wed Apr 17 14:49:40 2024 UTC)

Headlines similar to the text in the meme have been appearing for years, some announcing prototype test tracks that weren't operational for public use. For example, CBC reported on July 5, 2016, "World's 1st electric highway powers trucks on the go," describing an overhead wire system for hybrid trucks that uses a pantograph similar to how an electric train or tram is powered:

A two-kilometre test stretch of Highway E16 in Sandviken, about 160 kilometres north of Stockholm, has been equipped with overhead electrical wires that can be used to feed power into trucks that have a hybrid-electric motor, says Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration.

An April 12, 2018, article in The Guardian titled, "World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden," describes a different 2-kilometer (1.2 miles) section of test track near Stockholm. The eRoadArlanda project (video here) began trials in 2012; and, starting in April 2018, there was one truck that was converted to electric from diesel, which used electricity delivered similar to the system used for model slot cars. The truck belonging to PostNord postal services operator was used to shuttle goods on a public road from the airport to a nearby distribution center. Testing was projected to last for 12 months. The project's website was no longer working as of this writing.

Another project, Smartroad Gotland, was billed as the "World's First Wireless Electric Road." The 1-mile section of road, which opened in September 2023, uses wireless inductive technology to power an electric bus and an electric truck from the island's airport to the Visby town center. The project's website describes it as "a demonstration."

A May 16, 2023, article in topgear.com announced plans for the near future: "Sweden will build the world's first EV charging road/Permanent e-motorway could be a gamechanger for electric cars." The article discussed a road that was projected to be completed by 2025, but this project has been put on pause. On the website of the Swedish Transport Administration, trafikverket.se, a timeline of the progress toward the planned electric system for the E20 between Hallsberg and Örebro shows that the procurement was canceled in 2023. A 2020 PDF file (here) describes the E20 Hallsberg-Örebro Electric Road project in detail. The trafikverket.se website, last updated March 28, 2024, lists the current status of the project:

We have canceled the procurement and are starting an analysis phase to move forward with the project. The road plan work is currently paused.

Lead Stories reached out to the Swedish Transport Administration for comment and will update this article if we receive a reply.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks on claims regarding electric vehicles can be found here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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