Electric trucking may soon be a reality

Date: 28, June 2016
On June 22, 2016 Scania inaugurated the very first electrical highway for trucks in Gävle in central Sweden: a two kilometre stretch on a real road with real traffic conditions.

The project has a test period of two years where the goal is to consistently demonstrate that the electrical highway is a stable and reliable technology, and that it works around the clock in real life conditions, summer as well as winter. While Scania is using their own trucks on the electrical highway in Sweden, Siemens has also played a key role in the development of the technicalities of the electric highway scheme. More specifically, the fact that the truck can connect and disconnect to the overhead wires, a mechanism referred to as the pantograph, has been largely developed by Siemens. When not connected to the overhead wires, the truck will continue on biodiesel or electrical charged battery.

So how about the driver experience? One of the drivers who have tested the electrical highway mention not many differences in the driving experience itself. However, on electric mode the truck becomes almost quiet in the cabin, an experience which has been praised by the truck drivers.

Scania has mentioned they see the development of the electrical highway in terms of Sweden’s ambitious emissions reduction targets, namely a fossil-free vehicle fleet by 2030, and a fossil-free society by 2050. A total of three government agencies, Swedish Energy Agency, Sweden’s innovation agency Vinova and Swedish Transport Administration are partially funding the project, while Scania and Siemens have also contributed. On the same note, not far away in Finland, a similar project is also taking shape as the Finnish Government recently decided to fund a 30-million-euro project of electrical highway in Lappland, Finland. The details of this project are still to be developed.

If anything, the recent development on the prospects of el-trucking is undoubtedly accelerating, and could prove a driving force in the transition away from conventional diesel engines in the future of an emission-free road freight transport