Running Delivery Trucks on Trolley Wires Isn't as Crazy as It Sounds
ELECTRIC TRUCKS OFFER all the advantages of electric cars, namely, they’re greener. Trucks are a big source of the noxious emissions linked to smog and climate change. Minimizing the number of stinky, dirty diesels rumbling through town carries obvious public health benefits. But powering delivery trucks, let alone an 18-wheeler, with a big honkin’ battery simply isn’t practical. So engineers are taking another look at a century old solution: Stringing electrical cables over the road.
Siemens, best known in the transportation world for its trains, and the truck manufacturer Scania developed a hybrid electric truck that draws power from overhead cables like a bus or trolley. You can find some of the trucks undergoing testing on a 1.25-mile stretch of highway in Gävle, Sweden, and crews installing cables alongside a stretch of the 710 and 405 highways in Los Angeles.
Although the idea seems odd, it offers some advantages. Experts expect the amount of freight carried by road to climb 200 percent by 2050. That presents some challenges, not the least of which is rising fuel costs, and the environmental and health risks of all that CO2, NOx, and other pollutants. Electric propulsion addresses those issues (Yes, yes, electrical plant emissions. Still, cleaner.) But range? Recharge time? Forget about it.
Read more at Wired
Image: Siemens ag, Munich / Berlin