Sweden opens first 'electric road'

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Sweden has opened the "world's first electric road" near the city of Gävle.

Scania is supplying with the electrically-powered trucks, which will operate under real traffic conditions.

The two-kilometre strip on the E16 motorway sees electrified trucks from Scania driven in open traffic, using conductive technology developed by Siemens.

The new technology permits the trucks to operate as electric vehicles when on the electrified road and as regular hybrid vehicles at other times. All the Scania trucks on the road are hybrid and Euro 6-certified, running on biofuel.

Scania’s head of research and development Claes Erixon, said: “The electric road is one important milestone on the journey towards fossil-free transport. Scania is committed to the success of this project and is committed to sustainable transport solutions.”

The truck receives electrical power from a pantograph power collector that is mounted on the frame behind its cab. The pantographs are in turn connected to overhead power lines that are above the right-hand lane of the road, and the trucks can freely connect to and disconnect from the overhead wires while in motion.

When the truck goes outside the electrically-powered lane, the pantograph is disconnected and the truck is then powered by the combustion engine or the battery- operated electric motor. The same principle applies when the driver wants to overtake another vehicle while on the electrified strip of the road.

Scania´s sees the electric road as being a key component in achieving Sweden’s ambition of an energy-efficient and fossil-free vehicle fleet by 2030. It can also help to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness in the rapidly-developing area of sustainable transport.

Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, who is responsible for Scania’s research into electrification, added: “The potential fuel savings through electrification are considerable and the technology can become a cornerstone for fossil-free road transport services.”

The investment in the Electric Road E16 programme in Gävle is a result of a programme for the public procurement of innovative solutions that was launched by Swedish authorities.

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  • Darren - 23/06/2016 15:51

    "fossil-free transport" So what is generating this electricity? It's usually generated by burning gas or coal. I know wind and solar adds to the electrical supply, but only by a small percentage. Also these overhead cables will have to be constantly supplied with electricity, something we can't store, so power stations will have to generate more electricity to supply these cables, causing more pollution.

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    • Carl - 04/07/2016 22:25

      Hydro and Nuclear

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  • Rob Smith - 03/08/2016 12:15

    Interesting about the Swedish electric road. But the electricity has to be generated somewhere. Presumably, if this takes off, it will massively add to the demands on their national grid. So will their fossil free plans for the grid cope with the extra demand. Wind, wave etc. probably not, so down to nuclear and we have seen the problems experienced by UK/EDF/China in this field?

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