One solution to the problem of long-range over-the-road electric trucks could be electrifying sections of roadway with a system similar to that used by railroads.
The Swedish Transport Administration recently inaugurated a two-kilometer stretch of “electric road” on the E16 highway in Sandviken. The test area is equipped with electric catenary lines over one of the lanes. The truck has a pantograph on the roof that feeds 750 VDC to the truck’s hybrid electric system. The conductor can connect automatically at speeds up to 56 mph.
The agency also plans to test an alternate technology, which involves an electric rail in the roadway, on a closed road near Arlanda. The tests will continue through 2018.
The Swedish government has set a goal of having a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet by 2030.
“Electric roads will bring us one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions,” said Lena Erixon, Director General of Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration. “This is one way of developing environmentally smart transports in the existing road network. It could be a good supplement to today’s road and rail network.”