Trucks powered by electricity are capable of reducing fossil fuel emissions by 80 to 90 percent and energy consumption by 50 percent or more. During 2016, Scania will test this technology in real-life conditions on an electrified road in Sweden.
As part of Sweden’s Gävle Electric Road project, Scania will begin trialling trucks on an electrified stretch of the E16 motorway between Gävle and Sandviken. The trials are aimed at demonstrating and evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of electric road technology. Trucks will receive electrical power via pantograph power collectors on their roofs, which are then connected to overhead power lines. The trucks will be equipped with an electric hybrid powertrain developed by Scania.
The investment in the technology is in line with the Swedish government’s goal of developing an energy-efficient and fossil-free national vehicle fleet by 2030, and it will help to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness. Funding for the project is made up of about SEK 77 million (EUR 8.1 million) of public financing combined with about SEK 48 million (EUR 5.1 million) in co-financing from the business community and the Gävleborg region.
Scania’s trucks will operate goods transport services on a two-kilometre test route now being built between the Port of Gävle and Storvik along European route E16. The trucks will be equipped with an electric hybrid powertrain developed by Scania.
Power to the trucks is transferred from overhead lines through a pantograph power collector mounted on the frame behind the cab. This technology has been developed by Siemens, which, in association with Scania, has been conducting trials of electric trucks at its research facility outside Berlin since 2013.
The beauty of scheme is that the heavy trucks involved can operate both as electric vehicles when on the electrified road and as a regular hybrid vehicles at other times. Fossil fuel emissions are reduced by 80 to 90 percent. Operating costs will be lower, as far less energy is required due to the efficiency of the electric engine. Electricity is also a cheaper source of energy than diesel.
“The potential fuel savings though electrification are considerable and the technology could become a cornerstone for fossil-free road transport services,” says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, who is heading up Scania’s research efforts in this field. “Electrified roads are also a way to develop more eco-friendly transport services by using the existing road network.”