Scania and Siemens to pioneer electrified heavy trucks 29 March 2013

Scania and Siemens have joined forces for a futuristic project that could see Sweden becoming the world's first country with electrically-powered heavy trucks and 'electrified' roads specifically for commercial-vehicles.

The concept is based around a diesel-electric hybrid truck, drawing power from either overhead wires, or an induction system built into the road surface.

The goal is enabling trucks to run in a fully zero-emission mode while connected to the power supply.

Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Scania's head of hybrid system development at the manufacturer's R&D centre, says the projected end-user will be "operators frequently running on certain routes, carrying heavy loads".

"When, not if, electrification is a reality, systems for transferring high-power electricity to commercial hybrid vehicles will be seen mainly on the highways," insists Vågstedt.

"Our future scenario is where urban [freight] transportation is made by electric hybrid plug-in commercial vehicles. When connected to the power wires, they will run purely electric. When off the power grid, they'll run in hybrid mode or by using the battery," he continues.

But he adds: "Heavy commercial vehicles running on long distances will not be fully electrical, as these vehicles need to be driven outside the power grid for parts of their operation.

"Moreover, the road network down to local streets will probably not be electrified within a foreseeable time."

Trials of the system are expected to begin in Germany sometime next year (2014).

While overhead wires have long been used to provide electrical power to urban passenger transport systems, an induction system built into the road surface could offer greater flexibility.

However, Scania has revealed photographs showing a Scania truck equipped with a rising pantograph, similar to those used on electric trains, Vågstedt insists: "We do not favour any particular solution."

And he continues: "We believe that all the techniques for electric power transfer should be competing to prove which of them, or all, will qualify.

"For us, it's important to establish standard interfaces, including installation, electric power levels and information protocols between the vehicle and the road system – no matter which technology is used."

Brian Weatherley

Related Companies
Scania (Great Britain) Ltd
Siemens Industry Ltd

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