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Electric trucks: joint German-Swedish research project gets underway

Diesel has long been the dominant fuel used in road haulage, and is responsible for 56 million tonnes of CO2 per year in Germany, with a trend of further increase. The question of how to make long-haul road freight transport more environmentally friendly is at the centre of a new German-Swedish research project. An international consortium headed by ifeu and the Öko-Institut is studying the options for using electricity to power road freight transport. The research team is taking account of all technologies which can supply a truck with electricity while driving, including overhead catenary systems, conductor rails embedded in the roads, and electromagnetic induction systems to charge truck batteries. Together with the consortium led by Swedish partner institute RISE Viktoria, the team is analysing potential German/Swedish corridors for the electrification of long-haul freight transport.

Another focal point of the research project is the contribution that electric freight transport can make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the amount of energy that is required for the electrical operation of trucks. The team is also identifying potential business and financing models for the construction of a cross-border infrastructure, and is coming up with recommendations as regards the layout of the legal parameters and technical standards for cross-border electric transport.

Implementation of the German-Swedish government declaration

Back in early 2017, the German and Swedish governments issued a joint declaration entitled “Innovation and cooperation for a sustainable future – A German & Swedish partnership for innovation”, in which both parties agreed to work in-depth on the electrification of long-haul truck freight. The aim of the project “Swedish-German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems” (CollERS) is for both countries to create a joint knowledge base, share their experience of practical applications in Germany and Sweden, and to discuss strategies for a successful cross-border implementation of electric road systems (ERS) in Europe.

Julius Jöhrens, project manager at ifeu, emphasises: “When it comes to maximising the significant efficiency potentials associated with the electrification of road freight transport, it is crucial to establish a joint knowledge base amongst the relevant actors and to identify suitable areas of application – even across national boundaries. The CollERS project will make a significant contribution towards this aim.”

Project partners and funding

The project “Swedish-German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems” (CollERS) is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket). In addition to the institutes listed above, the following partners are also working on the project: Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology (IEE), Intraplan Consult, Chalmers University of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI).

Further information

ifeu project Roadmap for an overhead catenary system for trucks

2nd Electric Road Systems Conference 2018


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