In February 2016, Scania will start testing electric trucks on the electric road which will become a reality as the Swedish Transport Administration has now approved support for the Gävle Electric Road project, in line with the Government’s goal of an energy-efficient and fossil-free vehicle fleet by 2030. The project will demonstrate and evaluate conductive technology, which involves electrical transmission through overhead lines above vehicles equipped with a pantograph power collector.
The trucks, equipped with an electric hybrid powertrain developed by Scania, will operate goods transport services on a two-kilometer test route, which is being built between the Port of Gävle and Storvik along European highway 16. Power to the trucks is transferred from overhead lines through the pantograph collector mounted on the frame behind the cab. This technology has been developed by Siemens, which since 2013 has conducted trials of electrified trucks together with Scania at its research facility outside Berlin.
The possibility of operating heavy trucks using electricity in this way means that the truck’s flexibility to perform transport tasks using electricity and as a regular hybrid truck is maintained, while up to 80-90% of the fossil fuel emissions disappear. Operating costs will be low as much less energy is required due to the efficiency of the electric engine, while electricity is a cheaper source of energy than diesel.
“The potential fuel savings though electrification are considerable and the technology can become a cornerstone for fossil-free road transport services. Electric roads are also a way to develop more eco-friendly transport services by using the existing road network,” said Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, who is responsible for Scania’s research in this field.