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There are millions of trucks on the world’s highways at any given time, carrying cargo from one place to another and spewing diesel exhaust fumes. That’s how it’s been since the dawn of trucking, that’s how it still is. But that’s not necessarily how it will be in the future.
Electric trucks are a fact, though not a very popular one, which is undeserved to a certain degree. While short-haul deliveries are perfect for utilizing electric freight carriers, a long-haul electric truck would need a battery weighing 23 tons to be able to make a 500-mile journey in one go. That’s a lot of battery – basically half of the truck’s own weight.
Siemens - Scania - Batteries - Truck - Pantograph
Yet Siemens and Scania have recently unveiled an alternative to these monstrous hypothetical batteries: a truck that uses a pantograph feeding it power from wires running above it. Just like a trolley or an electric train. Unlike trolleys and electric trains, however, these Scania trucks (two test ones for now) can detach from the wires to overtake another vehicle or switch lanes for any other reason, and then smoothly return to the electrified lane because they also have internal combustion engines (that run on biodiesel), as well as battery-powered electric motors. These two motors allow the truck to “hop” from one electrified portion of a highway to another.
Trucks run on...
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