Induction is among the options being investigated and would involve vehicles wirelessly recharging their batteries via electrified roads.
Now, for the first time in Sweden, Scania and the Stockholm based Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) plan to test the technology in real-life conditions. The project will be run through their jointly operated Integrated Transport Laboratory research centre.
Swedish Energy Agency will provide 9.8 MSEK for the project’s realisation. Other stakeholders include Södertälje Municipality, Stockholm County Council and Tom Tits, the tech-oriented museum for children and youths.
As part of the field tests, a Scania citybus with an electric hybrid powertrain will go into daily operation in Södertälje in June 2016. At one of the bus stops there will be a charging station where the vehicle will be able to refill wirelessly from the road surface enough energy for a complete journey in just six-seven minutes.
“The main purpose of the field test is to evaluate the technology in real-life conditions,” says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Head of Scania’s Hybrid System Development Department. “There is enormous potential in the switch from combustion engines to electrification. The field test in Södertälje is the first step towards entirely electrified roads where electric vehicles take up energy from the road surface.”
To build an infrastructure and convert bus fleets to vehicles that run exclusively on electricity will provide many advantages for a city. With a fleet of 2,000 buses, the city can save up to 50 million litres of fuel each year. This means the fuel costs decrease by up to 90 percent.
Apart from induction, Scania’s research and development department is looking at different technology options, including the take-up of energy from overhead electrical wires or from rails.
“Our customers have different needs and prerequisites when it comes to switching to more sustainable transport. Therefore we don’t want focus on just one technology. Instead we are continuing research in different areas,” says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt.