(VIDEO) Sweden: world’s first electric highway opens for trial


As futuristic as it may seem, electric and hybrid vehicles are going to be part of the landscape whether we want it or not. The German engineering company Siemens strongly believes in the success of its most recent project to power electric trucks using carbon-friendly overhead electric wires. Just this month, Sweden introduced the world’s first electric highway system on a public road.

The e-highway system, which opened in the north of Sweden, will be tested for a period of two years. The project is concretely a catenary system for trucks that will be tested on a 2 km stretch of a highway near the city of Gavle.

Which vehicles will be used for the trial?

Two diesel hybrid vehicles manufactured by Scania the Swedish truck maker and adapted by Siemens will be used for the next two years. Siemens had already set up a demonstration project in cooperation with the carmaker Volvo back in 2014. During this first recorded trial, electric and hybrid trucks were supposed to test another e-highway system in California. The results of this trial are due for August 2016.

How does the system operate?

When a truck is attached to the electric wires above it, the truck's diesel power train can shut off and run on electricity power alone. In segments of the catenary without electric wires, the truck will operate on diesel fuel.

What does the e-highway have to offer?

While Sweden aims for a fossil independent transport sector by 2030, the catenary system for electric and hybrid trucks promises high-energy efficiency and reduced operating costs. However, for the moment the idea doesn’t seem to interest private vehicle owners.

According to Siemens, the system is perfectly integrated along the existing roads, so hopefully the end result for Sweden will be a reduction of local emissions.

Par Technologic Vehicles
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