TRATON: What kind of vehicle is this really?
N. G. Vagstedt:  It’s based on our regular hybrid truck that can be connected with the overhead power lines above the road. And that is exactly what we do. We run this truck completely on electricity without large and heavy batteries. Theoretically, this can be maintained over long distances.

The Electric Road Truck G 360 at Innovation Day 2017 in Hamburg.
The Electric Road Truck G 360 at Innovation Day 2017 in Hamburg.

TRATON: At least as long as there are overhead wires above the road.
N. G. Vagstedt: Actually, it’s also a hybrid that can be driven like a regular truck without the overhead wires. Like when you have to overtake someone, for example. It can be disconnected and reconnected very easily.

TRATON: That still sounds pretty complicated.
N. G. Vagstedt: No, quite the contrary. We’re simply combining two things, the power line and the power user. It’s the same with trains and trams. This type of technology is quite common. And we’ve had the second element, the hybrid, in our portfolio for a long time as well.

Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Head of Electric and Hybrid Powertrain Technology at Scania

“This technology is just one of many options on our road to a clean transportation industry.”

N. G. Vagstedt

TRATON: Is this truck a prototype or is this a well-established technology?
N. G. Vagstedt: It’s not a prototype. Our customers are already using the truck. We’ve been driving this truck on one particular route in Sweden for the past year and a half and just recently put a second truck into operation. This technology adds to the many possibilities for enabling a cleaner future in transport.

TRATON: But this technology shows what electric powertrain possibilities would be if the limiting factors of the battery could be overcome, right?
N. G. Vagstedt: Exactly. This technology shows what we could do. It was possible to solve the battery problems of capacity and weight, at least in part.

Cables are strung above the road over a length of 2 kilometers.
Cables are strung above the road over a length of 2 kilometers.

TRATON: What does the route in Sweden look like?
N. G. Vagstedt: There are overhead power lines with 700 V DC above the road for a stretch of two kilometers. Two trucks are using this route. I would call it a pilot phase. We’ve been working on this technology for seven years, to be exact. And today we can show that it works. Theoretically, there could be ten trucks driving behind each other on a one-kilometer stretch of road. Discussions are currently underway to extend the Swedish route to 30 km.