Electrifying the road network

The possibility of electrifying the road network to power trucks is being investigated by researchers at Scania Trucks. The concept, named ‘Electromobility’, is one of the technology development paths which are being investigated by the team that developed the hybrid system for Scania. Preparing road transport for the possibility of a reduction in the availability of fossil fuels is one of the tasks of a team led by Nils Gunnar Vagstedt.

Alternative methods of powering road transport vehicles would dramatically reduce the production of carbon dioxide and therefore reduce greenhouse gases. Scientists around the world are investigating alternative ways of thinking about maintaining the level of transport required in the modern world.

The Electromobility concept could use power from sustainably generated electricity. Electric motors are also very efficient, normally regarded as being twice as efficient as an internal combustion engine. Current electric power concepts require the vehicle to carry expensive and heavy batteries. The need for batteries precludes the use of electric motors for freight vehicles, every kilo of diesel would have to be replaced by 100kg of batteries.

The solution being considered by the Scania scientists is to have a supply of electricity available continuously along the length of a highway. This power supply could be used by any electric vehicles travelling along the highway.

Having developed the concept, Scania is now looking to work with other companies to come up with a practical solution which could work on the highways of Europe. Cooperating with Volvo Powertrain, Bombardier and other automotive companies, Scania has applied for funding from FFI, an initiative of the Swedish government and the automotive industry to develop electric road transport vehicles.

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