We can have all the electric cars and vans we want, but the real air pollution cannot be mitigated unless the heavy transport vehicles like trucks and buses are converted since they are lumbering diesel vehicles emitting a lot of smoke and pollutants into the air. Sweden is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to cutting emissions and dependence on fossil fuels by encouraging renewable energy and electric cars. Now it wants to lead the pack in making transport vehicles electric too with the ambitious 2030 plan in their minds that envisions a fossil-fuel independent country by then. It has just unveiled the first electrified highway which will serve as a testing bed for further electric truck development in the coming years.
eHighway, as it is being called, is a two-kilometer stretch of road that can be used by big electric vehicles and is very much like the electric tram system except with power cables hanging overhead that can hook up to the vehicles underneath to provide them with power. With such a system in place, the heavy transport system will not only use half the energy it requires, but it will also reduce the substantial air pollution caused by them.
Two diesel hybrid trucks will be initially used for testing with the deployed section, and they are modified to work with the system. They will shuttle around the highway and employ a pantograph mechanism to connect with the wires overhead. They are the same connections that are used in the electric steer cars and trains to connect with the power source. Now this connection ought to have a speed limit, right? 90 km/h is the top speed associated with these links and in the case of electric trucks and other freight vehicles, this is the top speed limit anyway so no problems here.
“By far the greatest part of the goods transported in Sweden goes on the road, but only a limited part of the goods can be moved to other traffic types,” according to Anders Berndtsson of the Swedish Transport Administration. This is what Sweden needs to cut down to achieve its emission goals.