Electric Truck On Trolley Wires
Time for old technology to rise, again. We still have electric busses in several countries, and many have been working for almost a century. The next upgrade, interestingly enough, will be, recycling the latest generation of lorries to electric trucks. To have the go-anywhere capability of a self-powered truck and saving money by replacing worn-out diesel engines with battery power electric conversions of eliminated trucks.
Electric trucks offer all the benefits of electric cars, namely, they’re greener.
Trucks are a big source of the harmful emissions linked to smog and climate change. Reducing the number of stinky, dirty gallons of diesel growling through town carries broad public health benefits.
But powering delivery trucks, let alone an 18-wheeler, with a big honking battery, just isn’t practical. So engineers are taking another look at a century-old solution: Stringing electrical wires over the road.
The well-known truck manufacturers developed a hybrid electric truck that pulls power from above cables like a bus or trolley. You can see some of the trucks undergoing trial on a 1.25-mile stretch of highway in Gavle, Sweden, and companies installing wires alongside a range of the 710 and 405 highways in many countries.
How does Electric Truck work?
Conductive Electrical Transmission:
The beauty of the system is that it allows the trucks to move as electric vehicles when on the electrified road and as regular hybrid vehicles at other times. Unlike old-fashioned city trolleybuses, each truck can connect to and disconnect from the hanging wires while in motion.
These trucks are notable heavy and need vital amounts of energy, which still isn’t accessible through battery technology. In one of the trials, an extendible power coupler called a pantograph on the roof connects the truck to lines strung along the right lane, giving a solid connection.
The onboard battery is a little thing with simply 5 kilowatt-hours, associated with the 60-kilowatt-hour pack in the Chevrolet Bolt, that’s good for less than 2 miles of range. The power restoring during coasting and braking doesn’t go back to the battery, it moves back through the pantographs into the grid.
Outside the electrically-powered road, the pantograph is disconnected and the truck is powered by the flaming engine or by the battery-charged electrical motor. The same implements when the driver wants to overtake another vehicle while on the electrical road.
When overtaking, the pantograph is disconnected and you drive the truck as a regular hybrid. You pass the vehicle, go back into your path, automatically reconnect to the pantograph, and continue using electrical energy.
The technology, known as conductive electrical transmission, has been developed and the companies have been directing trials of electric trucks at their research facility outside Berlin since 2013.
Trucks powered by electricity are capable of overcoming fossil fuel emissions by 80 to 90 per cent and energy consumption by 50 per cent or more.
What is the Benefit of an Electric Truck?
Although the concept seems odd, it gives some advantages. Experts expect the amount of load carried by road to climb 200 per cent by 2050. That gives some challenges, not the least of which is expanding fuel costs, and the environmental and health risks of all that NOx, CO2, and other pollutants.
The benefits of this technology are most obvious in trucking corridors through cities around ports and such. That describes the trial runs near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Trucks rumbling into those areas make 35,000 schlepping stuff off the boats from China. That creates a lot of filth.
Emission rates from trucks can be 10 to 100 times higher than that from passenger vehicles. This is a remarkably good idea to lighten hotspots. It may thoroughly be that the future of transportation lies in an idea from its past.
If everything works as planned, we will shortly see more electrified lanes, mainly on highways where there is a lot of traffic. The main vision of the electric truck is that electrified lanes will contribute to reducing much of today’s emissions.