We could quickly have electrified trucks if a project by Siemens and Scania works out. On Monday, Siemens and Scania announced a partnership to develop electrified powertrains for trucks using technology from Siemens.
One might think an electric truck is impossible because of the huge battery pack that would be required. However, large electric vehicles travel around the world every day all day long. There are trains, trolly and bus systems in cities around the world powered by electricity. These are large vehicles, run solely on electricity. The electricity is not stored in a battery pack, but instead delivered via wires.
This works for buses and trains, so why not the trucks that handle cargo from ports, or deliver things around town?
Scania, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, has long been exploring the possibilities of electrified buses and trucks. For their part, Siemens has a vision of the eHighway of the Future, which the company showed at EVS26 in May 2012. That vision would repurpose the overhead wire system used for trolly buses, to provide electricity for electrified trucks. Overhead wires, similar to those used for trolly buses, would be installed along highways and streets. The trucks would have a "pantograph" to pick up power from those wires in exactly the fashion that trolly buses pick up power.
Siemens is testing the idea in Germany, and in May 2012 announced a pilot project for the area around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach targeting the trucks that ferry containers between the ports and rail terminals a few miles away. Both those corridors are mired in diesel exhaust.
The project announced with Scania would make Sweden the world's first country with electrically powered trucks and electrified roads for commercial use.
“Full-scale demonstration of electrified road sections can quickly become a reality through this partnership,” says Henrik Henriksson, Executive Vice President and head of Scania’s sales and marketing. “Fuel savings made possible by electrification are huge, and this project is a foundation stone for fossil-free road transport.”