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Companies In Europe Carry Out Myriad Infrastructure Projects

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

American bridges, tunnels and roads are in desperate need of repair, which is why Congress is debating infrastructure legislation.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yeah. On a recent road trip over the summer, I wondered, should they repair the cracks in the interstate asphalt or just maybe mow the weeds growing in them? But in Europe, it's different. They've been spending on innovations. Poland, for example, has developed floral-scented asphalt, which won't really help drivers, but could make things a lot more pleasant for the crews building new roads.

FADEL: In Sweden, manufacturing firms have created the world's first green steel. This metal is made without the addition of coal or any other fossil fuel. The secret ingredient is hydrogen. Volvo hopes to start using the material as soon as possible to build new cars.

INSKEEP: And a German company has created a new technology that will allow electric vehicles to charge while driving. Electrified wire coils can be embedded beneath the road, sort of like the wireless charging stations for your phone. The technology could come to the United States. In fact, construction of a test strip in Indiana will start soon.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOSS OF AURA'S "BRINK") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.