Overhead lines could power trucks
LOS ANGELES, May 13 — The motorways of the future could feature vehicles powered like trains, a leading electronics firm has suggested.
Siemens launched its vision of the ‘eHighway of the future’ in Los Angeles this week, highlighting a new method which would see some trucks powered by wires running above lanes on the road.
The concept was unveiled at the Annual Electric Vehicle Symposium and could considerably reduce CO2 emissions without large-scale disruption to existing infrastructure, Siemens claims.
It believes that with relatively simple modifications to trucks, hybrid vehicles could cover long distances using electric power only, switching back to gasoline when they pull off the highway and away from the power lines.
“When most people think of vehicle emissions, they assume cars do most of the damage, but it’s actually commercial trucks that are largely to blame,” says Siemens Daryl Dulaney,
“Already more and more consumers are driving electric and hybrid vehicles. If we can get the commercial freight industry to come on board, we’ll decrease emissions dramatically and improve sustainability.”
The system is currently being tested in Germany and pilot projects are planned in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to connect to cargo centers.
In the future, Siemens suggested, the technology could be expanded to cities, allowing trucks to pass through areas with dense populations without emitting fumes or making as much noise.
But on a motorway, it could conceivably be combined in the long term with a project currently being conducted by Volvo which will allow vehicles to ‘convoy’ at high speeds, electronically placing the control of vehicles in the hands of the lead driver to reduce congestion and emissions.
The addition of a single power supply would likely enhance the environmental benefits even further, making the convoy far more comparable to rail in terms of both impact and convenience. — AFP/Relaxnews