Siemens is installing a catenary system for hybrid trucks to electrify a 2km stretch of the E16 highway north of Stockholm, Sweden, as part of a demonstration project.

This is the first demonstration project in Europe in partnership with truck manufacturer Scania and will be conducted on the E16, which connects the regions of Dalarna and Gävleborg, industrial regions.

The contract was awarded by the Swedish Transport Administration to the County Council of Gävleborg.

Two electric hybrid trucks manufactured by Scania will be used in the demonstration phase, which will be conducted in collaboration with Siemens.

Test results will be available in two years from the start of the demonstration phase and are intended to show the system’s suitability for future commercial use.

"The eHighway concept developed by Siemens combines tried and tested rail technology with the flexibility of road transport."

Sweden aims to develop a fossil fuel independent transport sector by 2030.

Siemens Mobility chief technology officer Roland Edel said: "The eHighway is twice as efficient as internal combustion engines. This means that not only is energy consumption cut in half but also local air pollution is reduced.

"The electric hybrid is the first step on the road to electrically powered vehicles that will come to play an increasingly important role in the development of sustainable freight transport."

The company said that the core of the system is an intelligent pantograph combined with a hybrid drive system.

A sensor system allows the pantograph to hook up to the catenary system and disconnect automatically at speeds of up to 90km/h.

Trucks featuring the catenary system draw power from the overhead wires as they drive, enabling them to travel efficiently and with zero local emissions.

County council of Gävleborg project leader Jan Nylander said: "The eHighway concept developed by Siemens combines tried and tested rail technology with the flexibility of road transport.

"Combined with Scania’s hybrid technology, employed fuel consumption and emissions will be cut while the intelligent pantograph ensures that eHighway vehicles are just as flexible as conventional vehicles."

Image: Trucks equipped with the system draw power from the overhead catenary wires as they drive. Photo: courtesy of Siemens.