First eHigh­way in Swe­den

Trucks con­nect to over­head cate­nary wires and are diesel-elec­tric to avoid range anx­i­ety

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

SIEMENS and Sca­nia have re­turned to the tramway sys­tem to meet Swe­den’s com­mit­ment to hav­ing a trans­port sec­tor that does not use fos­sil fu­els by 2030.

The com­pa­nies’ mod­ern tramway is called an eHigh­way and the ba­sics work just like the pantro­graph-pow­ered trams of yore, as well as the mod­ern mu­nic­i­pal buses in China or gi­ant diese­l­elec­tric hy­brid trucks in Sishen open-pit mine.

But Siemens’ pan­tographs can con­nect and dis­con­nect from the Sca­nia trucks at speeds of up to 90 km per hour.

While con­nected to the over­head cate­nary wires, the trucks are only us­ing their pow­er­ful elec­tric mo­tors, en­abling them to travel ef­fi­ciently and with zero lo­cal emis­sions.

Sca­nia has avoided range anx­i­ety by mak­ing the trucks diese­l­elec­tric hy­brids, so that each truck can go off the eHigh­way and run on diesel, thus main­tain­ing the flex­i­bil­ity of con­ven­tional trucks.

Swe­den’s min­is­ter for in­fra­struc­ture, Anna Jo­hans­son, and min­is­ter of en­ergy, Ibrahim Bay­lan, in­au­gu­rated the first eHigh­way sys­tem on a pub­lic road.

The pilot cate­nary sys­tem will run un­til 2018 over a two-kilo­me­tre stretch of the E16 high­way north of Stock­holm.

“The Siemens eHigh­way is twice as ef­fi­cient as con­ven­tional in­ter­nal-com­bus­tion en­gines. The Siemens in­no­va­tion sup­plies trucks with power from an over­head con­tact line. This means that not only is en­ergy con­sump­tion cut by half, but lo­cal air pol­lu­tion is re­duced too,” said Roland Edel, chief en­gi­neer at the Siemens Mo­bil­ity Divi­sion.

Trans­port ac­counts for more than one third of Swe­den’s CO2 emis­sions, with al­most half of that com­ing from freight trans­port. As part of its cli­mate pro­tec­tion strat­egy, Swe­den has com­mit­ted to hav­ing a fos­sil-fuel in­de­pen­dent trans­port sec­tor by 2030. Due to the ex­pected growth in freight trans­port, road freight is set to grow even as rail ca­pac­ity is in­creased. A so­lu­tion to de­car­bonised road freight is there­fore nec­es­sary. Dur­ing the two-year trial, Swe­den’s Trans­port Ad­min­is­tra­tion Trafikver­ket and Gävle­borg County want to cre­ate a knowl­edge base on whether the Siemens eHigh­way sys­tem is suit­able for fu­ture longterm com­mer­cial use and fur­ther de­ploy­ment.

“By far the great­est part of the goods trans­ported in Swe­den go on the road, but only a lim­ited part of the goods can be moved to other traf­fic types. That is why we must free the trucks from their de­pen­dence on fos­sil fu­els, so that they can be of use also in the fu­ture.

“Elec­tric roads of­fer this pos­si­bil­ity and are an ex­cel­lent com­ple­ment to the trans­port sys­tem”, said An­ders Berndts­son, chief strate­gist at the Swedish Trans­port Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The eHigh­way tech­nol­ogy fea­tures an open con­fig­u­ra­tion. As a re­sult, bat­tery or nat­u­ral gas so­lu­tions, for ex­am­ple, can be im­ple­mented as an al­ter­na­tive to the diesel hy­brid drive sys­tem used in Swe­den. This al­lows the sys­tem to be adapted to the spe­cific ap­pli­ca­tion.

Siemens is now de­vel­op­ing an­other eHigh­way demon­stra­tion project in Cal­i­for­nia. The project is be­ing un­der­taken in col­lab­o­ra­tion with ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer Volvo on be­half of the South Coast Air Qual­ity Man­age­ment District. Tests will be con­ducted through­out 2017 to see how dif­fer­ent truck con­fig­u­ra­tions in­ter­act with the eHigh­way in­fra­struc­ture in the vicin­ity of the ports of Los An­ge­les and Long Beach in the U.S.


Imag­ine if the 10 000 trucks that use the N3 each day could be pow­ered by elec­tric mo­tors up the steeper sec­tions to main­tain speed and avoid the bot­tle­necks caused by un­der­pow­ered slow rigs, as Sca­nia is test­ing in Swe­den.

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