Enter the Age of E-Highways.
Electric cars and motorycles are becoming more and more popular, mainly because they are becoming more viable and cost effective. However if we are to reduce transportation emissions eventually to zero, we must be able to electrify transport trucks or 18 wheelers as they are known in the United States.
The challenge with building electric trucks with sufficient power and range are the weights involved. Battery technology needs to have a very high ratio of energy to battery weight. So far batteries meeting this requirement are only in the research stage.
A company in Sweden has found a solution to this problem. They have designed an electric hybrid transport truck that can run on electric or diesel. However in order to run on electric it does not rely on batteries to stay charged. Instead the trucks use an older technology used at the turn of the twentieth century to power trollie cars.
Special roadways allow the electric trucks to travel at high speeds, drawing power from the overhead power lines.
When a section of road is encoutered that is not electrified in this way, the contactors located over the top of the cab, retract and the diesel engine takes over.
Scania reports that several countries are eager to begin development of this technology. We should expect to see E-highways being built all over Germant and Sweden to start. If successfull, I am sure the rest of Europe will follow suit.
Be sure to leave us a comment or two regarding this technology and the pros and cons you envision. We read all the comments.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.