Sweden opens world’s first electric highway

Sweden opens world’s first electric highway

Sweden has opened up the world’s first electric road, nicknamed “the e-highway” last week in the city of Sandviken in a bid to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Initiated by the transport authority, trucks connect to overhead cables where their engines switch from diesel to electric.

The overhead wires provide 750 volts of direct current to the hybrid system in the truck through a pair of pantographs. The pantographs deploy automatically and attach to the wire while the truck is traveling at up to 90 kilometres per hour.

The truck is a hybrid electric, equipped with a 360 horsepower motor which runs on both biofuel and a 5 kilowatt-hour lithium battery pack.

“Electric roads will bring us one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions,” said Lena Erixon, Swedish transport administration director general. “This is one way of developing environmentally smart transports in the existing road network. It could be a good supplement to today’s road and rail network.”

Sweden is one of the world’s first countries to explore the use of an electronic road system. Researchers plan on testing the system’s viability through 2018.