Sweden recently opened a 1.25 mile stretch of electrified highway in an effort to have a fossil fuel-free transit system by 2030 and to help curb emissions from tractor trailers.
Truckers driving rigs equipped with the “eHighway” technology can engage the electrical grid or use the diesel their engines usually run on. Truckers can engage the system where it’s available and operate on electricity just like a trolley, meaning less cost for the trucking company as well as lower emissions for the country. Where the system is not yet available, truckers can still run their engines using diesel just like conventional trucks.
During the two-year trial, two diesel hybrid trucks will be attached to the “catenary” — the cable from which trolley lines and such are suspended — and will operate both on the electrical grid, as well as through its engine (where the grid does not yet exist). The trucks will be fitted with a pantograph — a jointed framework conveying a current to a train — which moves up and down at the drivers command, to maintain contact with the line.
If the overhead cables are available, the drivers could connect using the pantograph — if there is no such apparatus installed, drivers can still use their diesel engines as normal.