As part of its climate protection strategy, Sweden has committed to having a fossil fuel independent transport sector by 2030 and opened its first electrified highway (eHighway),
The eHighway is a transport system for electric vehicles that Siemens has been working on. It works much like an electric tram system, with power cables running overheard that hook up to the vehicles underneath to provide them with power.
For the coming two years, a Siemens catenary system for trucks will be tested on a two-kilometer stretch of the E16 highway north of Stockholm. Its deployment will play host to a two-year trial to further the country’s shift to a carbon-free road freight industry. During the two-year trial, Sweden’s Transport Administration want to create a knowledge base on whether the Siemens eHighway system is suitable for future commercial use and further deployment.
Not only is the system claimed to cut energy consumption by half, but it has the added advantage of reducing local air pollution.
The trial will see two diesel hybrid trucks, built by Scania and modified to work with the system, shuttle along the eHighway and use a pantograph mechanism to connect with the overhead wires. Pantograph’s are the folding frameworks that connect electric streetcars and trains to their power source.
This connection can take place at speeds of up to 90 km/h and also allows hooked up vehicles to trade energy. So if a truck is braking down a steep incline, this energy can be recovered and fed back into the system for other vehicles to use as they accelerate. And because the trucks work on hybrid drive systems, they can operate as regular vehicles once they steer away from the overhead power lines.