Just a couple of days before the official inauguration of the world’s first test strip for electrically-powered trucks under real traffic conditions, the test site is bustling with activity. Power has just been switched on in the overhead lines above the two-kilometre stretch on the E16 motorway outside Gävle in central Sweden, where a green-painted electrically powered truck from Scania is running silently back and forth.
“It feels fantastic that the electric truck is now up and running, operating under real traffic conditions,” says Christer Thorén, Technical Project Manager at Scania’s Hybrid Systems Development unit.
Able to connect and disconnect
During the two-year test period, the electric truck will perform normal transportation assignments for Ernsts Express, a mid-sized logistics company in central Sweden.
The truck can connect to and disconnect from the overhead wires while in motion. When the truck goes outside the electrically-powered lane, the pantograph (the mechanism which connects the truck to the overhead wires) is disconnected and the truck is then powered by the biodiesel fueled engine or battery-charged electric motor.
Without greenhouse emissions
”The first time I drove the electric truck I didn’t feel much difference when it comes to the actual driving. But in electric mode it gets totally quiet in the cab, that’s amazing,” says Therése Persson, one of Ernsts Express’ drivers.
Roger Blom, CEO for Ernsts Express, adds: “For us at Ernsts Express this is a fantastic project to be part of, to drive a truck without any emissions of greenhouse gases. So far the technology works really well. It’s amazing to glide along in this truck in complete silence.”
Developed by Scania and Siemens
The electric truck has a pantograph power collector that is mounted on the frame behind its cab. This so called conductive technology has been developed by Siemens in collaboration with Scania.
Pia Nilsson, Project Manager at Siemens Sweden, says: “Our proven technology from railways, together with Scania’s innovative solutions for the transport sector, means that we together can find new exciting solutions such as this electric road and our own eHighway concept. One of the major benefits of the technology is that it can be implemented on roads that already exist.”
Scania’s Christer Thorén says he is pleased with Siemens cooperation on the project: “Short term, our expectation is that during the two year test period we will be able to show that this is a good and reliable technology, and that it works under real-life conditions, 24-7, summer and winter.”
Read more on the project here»