Siemens, redesigning the traditional catenary and pantography system, has created an innovative solution to make electric trucks more efficient and economical, and that can be easily adapted to existing models. The pollution produced by trucks could be cut in half.
This technology called eHighway “electric highways” allows trucks to operate in a much less polluting way. In order for this motor to work, it needs a power source. Through an electrical substation and a catenary network installed on the roads, trucks can be supplied with electricity without using fossil fuels.
This system achieves an efficiency of 80% and the trucks that are connected to it are half as polluting as diesel, thanks to the electrical cables, which transmit energy with a loss of electricity of only 1%.
Trucks must have the appropriate technology to obtain and transmit that energy to the engine. These vehicles can connect and disconnect from the network, automatically or manually, regardless of the speed at which they circulate. A sensor detects the section in which the catenaries are located and an intelligent control system allows the pantograph to take the appropriate position to engage with them and directly transmit that energy to the motor.
The electricity generated by the braking of the trucks is returned to the grid, ensuring greater system efficiency.
When the trucks are outside the catenary lines, they use an electric drive system that also works with diesel, compressed natural gas or batteries, hybrid vehicles.
This revolutionary technology designed by Siemens can drastically reduce the costs associated with truck operation and CO2 emissions.
The test section has already been implemented in Carson (Los Angeles, California (USA)), where it will be tested until mid-2016.