Sweden opens world’s first Electric Road System

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Sweden opened a stretch of electric highway, becoming the first country to test electric power for heavy transport.

Inaugurated on June 22, near the city of Gävle in central Sweden, the project is the result of a unique collaboration between the Swedish Government and the private sector, as it aims to demonstrate the path towards fossil-free transportation.

A 22 kilometer (or roughly 13 miles) stretch of the E16 road—which connects Oslo, Norway, to Gävle, Sweden—is fitted with power lines overhead, developed by Siemens, providing electricity to hybrid trucks. The system works like a tram system. A current collector on the trucks will transfer energy from the power lines to the trucks’ hybrid electric motors, Sputnik News reported. The electric lines help trucks operate longer between recharges.

 

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When the trucks, provided by Scania, are not on the electric stretch of road, they will operate as hybrid vehicles running on biofuel. Electric-powered trucks are expected to cut 80 to 90 percent of fossil fuel emissions. The opening of this stretch of road is another step toward Sweden’s goal of operating a fossil fuel-free fleet by 2030, Inhabitat reported.

“Electric roads are one more piece of the puzzle in the transport system of the future, especially for making the heavy transport section fossil fuel-free over the long term,” Erik Brandsma, director general of the Swedish Energy Agency, said. “This project also shows the importance of all the actors in the field cooperating.”

Siemens is planning to create another demonstration route, according to Sputnik News. The new stretch will be completed on public roads near Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. Siemens is working with Volvo Trucks on that project.

 

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