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Road Electrification to Follow Rail?

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Following on from last month’s article about self-driving trucks reaching our roads it seems that electrification may be close behind them.

It has been proposed that some of the busiest freight road networks be fitted with overhead gantries and catenary systems, similar to those used for electric trains.  Trucks could then be fitted with pantograph systems to allow them to run.

The advantages of such systems are the significant increases in efficiency and the carbon savings switching to electric away from fossil based fuels.  Noise will also be reduced as electric trucks are practically silent when running.

Trials have already taken place on 2km and 5km stretches of public road in Los Angeles, Germany and Sweden.  The trucks used in these countries are hybrids, capable of switching between traditional fuel and electric.  Battery powered trucks are also under consideration.

A full field trial of the design phase is due to take place in Germany in the latter part of 2018.