Prestudy 2010 - Electric roads - electrification of heavy road transports

Prestudy 2010 - Electric roads - electrification of heavy road transports

By the appointment of the Swedish Road Administration, Trafikverket, and the Swedish Energy Agency, Energimyndigheten.

Report is written in swedish. Click image above to downloaded document as PDF.


The assignment relates to a preliminary study for the electrification of roads of heavy and long road road traffic. It has three distinct dimensions:


The preliminary study is delimited to long-haul and heavy road transport. Local distribution within cities/villages is not included. Vehicles are not included but are reviewed in order to make assumptions. The boundaries between vehicles and infrastructure are included. New roads and new road types are not considered.

What does it cost?

The estimate is that the cost will be 10 million SEK per kilometer of existing road including the weir to protect the contact line posts, which also increases road safety. Electrification of the "triangle" Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm will then be less than 15 billion kronor (SEK).

What social benefits do you get?

If heavy road electrification is carried out, as much as 1400 million liters of diesel can be saved, which represents 35% of national consumption in the transport sector. The corresponding reduction of CO2 emissions is estimated at 4.2 Mton, which corresponds to 9% of national fossil emissions. Electrification of the "triangle" Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm reduces emissions by 1 Mton, ie more than 2% of national fossil emissions.

Are there any technical Achilles heel or other challenges?

The biggest challenges are the requirement of free "height" and traffic safety. For example "viaducts" and the risk that contact lines end up on the roadway. The assessment is that solutions can be developed.

How do we proceed now?

The preliminary study shows that electrification of parts of the existing road network gives large social and climate benefits with relatively small costs. The concept of road electrification challenges our "mindset", our inward thinking models and approaches. It is not the road that is an energy and environmental problem. It is the internal combustion engine that is in the vehicles that is the problem. The challenge is not technical but how a consensus is established between politicians, vehicle manufacturers and freight forwarders. The preliminary study proposes the following activities in the short term:

How do we proceed later?

Freight forwarders of different types are looking for fossil-free transportation. Vehicle manufacturers do not start self-propelled to produce "trolley vehicles" without the technical and economic conditions available, i.e. that the infrastructure will work. Naturally, the national goverment initiates the start of the process with full transparency from the automotive industry and future suppliers of electrical road infrastructure. Similar systems used with "electrical certificates" to "wind power" plants one can imagine a form of fuel certificate, where the "trolley trucks" get a revenue per mile drive with electricity.