World’s First Electric Road (eHighway) For Electric Trucks Opens in Sweden

JUL 3 2016 BY MARK KANE 24

Electric road hybrid truck, Scania G 360 4x2 (Hybrid Truck with Siemens pantograph on the roof) Gävle, Sweden Photo: Tobias Ohls 2016

Electric road hybrid truck, Scania G 360 4×2 (Hybrid Truck with Siemens pantograph on the roof) Gävle, Sweden

Electric road hybrid truck, Scania G 360 4x2 (Hybrid Truck with Siemens pantograph on the roof) Gävle, Sweden Photo: Tobias Ohls 2016

Electric road hybrid truck, Scania G 360 4×2 (Hybrid Truck with Siemens pantograph on the roof) Gävle, Sweden

Sweden has launched the world’s first electrified road – the eHighway, near the city of Gävle, which enables trucks to drive emission free on just electricity.

The demonstration project utilizes a two-kilometer/1.25 mile strip of catenary (750 V DC) on the E16 motorway, developed by Siemens.

“Opening today, 22 June, the two-kilometre strip on the E16 motorway sees electrified trucks from Scania driven in open traffic, using conductive technology developed by Siemens.

The beauty of the new technology, which is the result of several years of cooperation between the Swedish Government and the private sector, is that it 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.”

Hybrid trucks with special pantographs were supplied by Scania (part of Volkswagen Truck & Bus). Without a direct connection, these truck’s 5 kWh battery are capable of driving some 3 km/1.8 miles of driving – on top of 2 km/1.25 on the eHighway.

Test will continue up through 2018.

“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.”

“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. The programme consists of about SEK 77 million in public money, with about SEK 48 million in co-financing from the business community and the Gävleborg regional authority, which administers the area of Sweden where the electric road is situated.

The Swedish transport authority Trafikverket, the Swedish Energy Agency Energimyndigheten, innovation agency Vinnova, Scania and Siemens are the main funders of the technology, while Region Gävleborg is the project coordinator.

The electric road is only one of several pioneering technologies that Scania is working on to help the spread of sustainable solutions within both urban and long-haul transport. The company is also developing technologies for alternative fuels, hybridised and fully-electric vehicles, and autonomously and wirelessly-connected transport in parallel with its work to further enhance and refine the products of the future.”

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.”

Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, who is responsible for Scania’s research into electrification, adds:

“The potential fuel savings through electrification are considerable and the technology can become a cornerstone for fossil-free road transport services.”

Technical parameters of the Scania vehicle:

Truck model:Scania G 360 4×2, weight 9.0 ton
Powertrain:Parallell hybrid, integrated in the   gearbox (GRS895)
Engine:13-litre, 360 hp (runs on biofuel)
Electric motor:130kW, 1050Nm
Battery:Li-Ion 5 kWh (gives a driving range up to   3 km when not running on the e-way)
System voltage:700V

Hat tip to Anders!

Categories: Charging, Trucks

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24 Comments on "World’s First Electric Road (eHighway) For Electric Trucks Opens in Sweden"

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this is a return to the tram days of yore. no thanks. these days you need to embed the power source in the road for wireless powering.

Why use an efficient, well tested, readily available and cheap technology when you can go for the untested, inefficient, costly alternative instead?

I guess it’s just for testing purposes.
Embedding coils in the road is very expensive since you have to change the pavement.

The catenary option is much cheaper for testing the system, it will allow the truck companies to quickly iterate on their designs while still providing actual active trucks used to move goods (not just test truck on private circuits)

This have to be tested for a while but it may be a good solution for electric truck. Electric engines are way more efficient and cheaper to operate. Truck won’t need a big ass battery with this on highways, just a smaller one for local traveling.

What’s wrong with a 400 KWh battery. 60000 $ is no big deal on a truck especially with the fuel savings.
Trucks could also use battery exchange since they could use on board hydraulics to load and unload from an unloading dock in front of the truck. For trucks battery exchange is an excellent solution especially because not buying the battery but merely using it would make truck purchase very cheap. Using electricity instead of diesel would more than make up for the monthly rent.

Agreed – battery swap in trucking would be quick and cost-effective.

Good work. This will save a lot of diesel and reduce pollution.

Will the other smaller trucks and buses (electric powered) be able to use this catenary. If it can be made generic, then many road vehicles will get the benefit. The utility will also be able to sell more electricity.

And every 10 km point, please install a fast charging for the smaller electric cars.

Solar roads man, solar roads! If you use solar roads you can…..well….uhh….you’ll be able to umm….it’s very err….umm…

This is a way that we could handle the difficult problem of electrifying 18-wheelers.

Put those wires over needed common transport routes and put in big batteries to handle a few miles off of the main transport routes.

Siemens was also going to build one of these between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Inside EVs had an article on this. The overhead wire pantograph system is pretty expensive. A few years ago the French were considering completely electrifying their trains but it’s quite costly to put in the overhead lines. The French decided instead to use the diesel-electric trains on the spur lines and just electrify the trunk lines. They were also planning to modify some of the diesel-electrics into electro-diesels by putting lithium battery banks on board so that when the locomotives were in the switching yard or at the train station inside the city limits, they could be moved using just the train’s electric traction motors. I took the electric TGV from Paris to Nice once. The scenery goes by real fast. Lotsa fun. The electric and mag-lev trains are another place where we could see more electrification in the future. On the other hand, the hyper-loop might be the way we travel in the future. The U.S. certainly needs an alternative to the airlines. I once took the Amtrak Train from Portland to Seattle and it was fun, but I could have… Read more »

130 kW is not much for a heavy truck, some passenger cars can produce more peak power. And at 700 V, that is 186 amps. How many trucks can you have closely spaced before you melt the catenary wire? It seems like a preliminary trial, not a production ready design.

130 kW is more than enough effect for most trucks on the highway. The torque to get the truck moving is more important and as usual with electric motors you get plenty of that.

When the TGV set the land speed record for trains on rails, the train was drawing over 800 amps. Catenary amperage is not the limiting factor.

At least it will stop the trucks from overtaking and occupying the left lane for 10 kms. 🙂

So make it 3 fase AC overhanging wire instead of DC. It’s a matter of moving the AC/DC from the road side to the truck. There are advantadges for either solution.

Give every truck 50-200kWh and they could do deliveries to town centers and they charge up again whilst travelling to the next city. It seems so obvious, am I the only of seeing this larger picture?

It seems you are equipping the truck with a bit of a handicap this way. Although they have “solved” this by leaving the existing diesel in place. That’s a bit of a half hearted attempt in my book.

Of course you can have a larger battery to be able to do city traffic also. That is how it will be if these electric roads ever get built in a larger scale.

But in this test there is no need to do that. And it would be a lot more expensive to try this if you had to build a special made truck instead of using one that is in regular production (minus the pantographs).

What do they expect to find out from a measly 2 km strip of road? That’s about 90 seconds of driving, minus the time of setting up the pantographs.

It’s all about connecting, disconnecting the pantographs and seeing how wear and tear affects the wires in a real world scenario.
That is best done on a shorter track that is run back and forth basically all day long.

It’s supposed to be extended to cover the road between Gävle and Borlänge, which is a distance of 113 km, if everything works as it should.

Catenary and pantographs are very well-tested. Trains have been using them since the 1920s, and earlier.

The mainlines between Harrisburg, Philadelphia, DC, New York City and Boston had electrified passenger and freight for generations, with dozens of trains in each direction per day.

Modern electrified rail in Japan and Europe has being going on for decades now, and they have it all worked out and continue to tweak it.

The only reason why I think they made such a short test track is cost, but I agree with Someone that such a short distance seems useless.

I would also assume that the pantographs are motorized. The driver would just flick a switch.

In road dynamic magnetic resonance coupling is likely better.

No unsightly wires overhead.

So how does the extra weight and wind resistance of this system affect fuel consumption of the truck when its “off grid”? How much increase per kilometer disconnected in fuel consumption?

What are the future objectives, this system combined with battery/electrical propulsion and total removal of combustion engine?

Are there any risks involved similar to the issues with trains today when contacwire drops down that entire highways need to be shut down, power disconnected and then enginers sent in to connect contactwire again causing hours of disruption to service and a blocked highway meanwhile?

Dangers of contactwire falling down and “connecting” with a normal car.

Are these issues at all in a full scale solution?

Best regards

Yeah, they’ve done a full FMEA analysis etc etc. It is a HUGE infra project, the kind of project Siemens loves. Sorry to break it to them, but the Opbrid Pony Express system accomplishes the same, but at 1% of the cost.

Overhead electric catenary has been used for over 100 years in the railroad industry. It works, and it works very well.

On open roads, however, the risk assessment becomes greater, at least because vehicles could run into the poles and knock down the lines. That would be problematic. Electrocution would not be an issue, though, because it would be very straightforward to put sensors on the poles that would provide a disconnect in the event of an impact above a certain threshold.

Also, as you notice, the pantographs fold down behind a windscreen (which most trucks, particularly semis, already have). Any increase in aerodynamic drag would be minimal.

Plus, when not on the catenary, they are also not on the highway, so they would be traveling at lower speeds, thus aerodynamics don’t even come into play.