A Swedish announcement: in the Gästrikland province the first electric highway for trucks was inaugurated. A step forward in the transport sector that produces a third of CO2 emissions in Sweden, and half of these come precisely from freights. A strategic action by the Stockholm government to find out whether the electric highway could be a viable solution to reduce pollution.
The trial began on 22 June and will run until 2018. The km affected by the change are two of E16 highway, dubbed 'eHighway', linking the cities of Kungsgården and Sandviken. Here the hybrid heavy goods vehicles are powered with electricity as already happens with the trolleybuses. Each truck receives electricity through an adjustable pantograph place behind the cab and connected to the power lines of the electric highway lane. If there is the need to overtake, the pantograph will disconnected and the truck could travel in hybrid mode until the return into the power lane.
The program has been supported with 8 million Euro by the Swedish Department of Energy and the one of Transports and with about 5 million euro by Scania and Siemens, being part of the government's plan to eliminate all fossil fuels from the transport sector by 2030. If the test is a success - as is believed, since it’s been calculated it could reduce emissions of heavy traffic by 80% - the network will cover a distance of almost 200 km. And according to forecasts, the investment on this stretch of road should come to pay for itself within 7/8 years thanks to the savings of fossil fuels.
This is a key test for a sector that continues to grow both in volume and in emissions across Europe and that is leading Sweden to be the leader in the fight against climate change. Meanwhile, Siemens has launched a similar project in California, in collaboration with Volvo Trucks: the ‘green’ tar should be rolled out in 2017 on the stretch between Los Angeles and Long Beach.