Construction

Scania to test electric trucks

Overhead lines ideal for fixed routes in mines, quarries, production areas

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Scania and Siemens electrically-powered experiment hybrid truck with current collectors

Scania is to conduct trials of electrically powered trucks, with the electricity delivered by lines overhead, similar to trains and trams.

Carried out in partnership with Siemens, the trials are investigating the possibility of power trucks with overhead lines being used where regular transport routes exist from point to point, such as between steel mills and ports and between mines and processing plants.

Trials with Scania’s truck will be carried out at Siemens’s two-kilometre long test track in Germany, following the truck’s preparation in Sweden.

The truck has a pantograph power collector mounted on the frame behind the cab, and an electric powertrain system will be installed at Scania’s Research and Development centre.

The truck with the power electrification system as a whole will then be ready for evaluation at Siemen’s test track.

The project opens opportunities for full-scale demonstrations of electrified road sections in Sweden, said Scania’s project manager Christer Thorén, adding that the new technology will provide substantial fuel savings and a means to achieve fossil-free road transport.

Scania’s vehicle has a hybrid powertrain – combining both electric and combustion engines, so it can be supplemented by power transfer from overhead lines. On these routes, vehicles can thereby operate exclusively on electricity.

Initially, tests will be carried out to ensure satisfactory contact between the pantograph unit and the overhead wires. Unlike trolleybuses, the truck can connect with the overhead wire while in motion. The pantograph is as wide as the truck, 2.6 metres, to ensure uninterrupted contact with the overhead wire also when the road curves. Tests of the system in its entirety will start during spring 2014.

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