Somewhere Down the Road
Sweden is now testing a technology that allows trucks to be fed with electrical power on the go. About 160 kilometers north of Stockholm, a two-kilometer highway has been provided with overhead electrical wires to provide power to trucks that have hybrid-electric motors. The test runs from late this June up to 2018.
A current conductor on the roof, called a pantograph, allows the passage of electricity from the wires into the truck. It is designed to automatically connect while the truck runs at the speed of 90 kilometers per hour. Once the vehicle reaches the end of the test highway, it returns to diesel-electric mode.
According to Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration, this project is one of the first tests of electric power for heavy transport vehicles to be conducted on a public road.
The test runs on Highway E16 in Sandviken.
The project is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Energy Agency and a government agency that funds research and innovation called Vinnova.
Other electric highway technologies were also approved for testing, including one that involves an electric rail that charges vehicles. This is slated to start an initial off-road trial in 2017.
“Electric roads will bring us one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions,” the Director General of Trafikverket Lena Erixon said.
Last summer, England also announced their plans for conducting off-road tests of a wireless electric highway technology. However, as they told CBC News, Highways England is still looking for ways to procure the technology for the trials.