Tio frågor till Sveriges expert på elvägar

Ten questions to Sweden's expert on electric highways

What distinguishes electrical highways from trolley bus systems? Per Ranch has been involved in the development since 2009.

Click image above to read full story in swedish! English [machine] translation below


Per Ranch has been involved in several studies of trolley buses and trolleytrucks for almost ten years. Interest in the electric highway outside Sandviken, which can be the world's first, is great. Many people we have spoken to refers to him to answer a number of questions. So we him called up.

What distinguishes the systems for old trolley buses and the new highway for electric trucks, which is built outside of Sandviken [in Swden]?

- The new electric highway allows much higher speeds, up to 100 km / h. The old trolley buses never drove more than 50-60 km / h.

- The intelligent pantograph, which connects the trucks to the overhead wiring at high speed, is also new. These hybrid trucks should then be able to drive on both traditional road and electric highways.

- The system also includes an individual payment system, which ensures that each truck is billed. There is no remarkable technology, but it was not available with the trolley buses.

Why should not passenger cars be connected to the highway?

- It is too high up to the overhead wiring, over five meters. But on Elway's highway, www.elways.se, which is planned to be built at Arlanda, [Stockholm airport], with rails in the road, cars will be able to drive.

Have there been "trolley trucks" previously in Sweden?

- Yes for sure. There were trucks that ran flour from Kvarholmen to Södra station [within Stockholm]. The system was introduced during World War II, during the gasoline restrictions and were up running until 1959.

When did the wire buses stop running in Stockholm?

- I think they disappeared in 1964.

Are there trolley buses in Sweden today?

- Yes, there is a system in Landskrona. And in the rest of the world they are popular. There are 44,000 wire buses in 360 systems in different locations all over the world.

What is the technical challenge regarding the two-kilometer highway off Sandviken?

- There is no one. It is "knowned" technology. What is going to be tested is how existing laws and regulations will work for this kind of traffic.

The electric highway should be tested for two years. If it's ok, what's next?

- The system will be profitable only at high traffic volumes. On high-traffic routes, like [the national highways] between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

- Siemens system costs today SEK 20 million per kilometer. That price will probably decrease when volumes increase.

Is there any international standard?

- There is a trolley bus standard. The eHighway system by Siemens has the same current, but the width between the threads and the height is slightly different.

So the new "trolley" trucks can hardly use trolley bus overhead wiring?

- No, you can not drive a "trolley truck" in a trolley bus system straight away. But I think Siemens solution, based on an open technology, can become a "de facto" standard. I think their system is good, and they are a major player.

Sandviken in Sweden or Los Angeles in the United States, which electric highway do you think will be the first in the world?

- I have visited the US Highway Project. It was very interesting, they are working hard. So it will be exciting to see who becomes first.