Powering Big Trucks with Overhead Catenaries


So the assertion is that it is “possible” to economically do for very specific predefined trunk routes such as from a port to a warehouse or distribution center for trucks that are used 24/7 and would be inefficient to spend half their time charging.

The problem with that logic is that the 24/7 use and the centralized routing is also a candidate for battery swapping or hydrogen FCEV.

I could imagine this working as a utility on long Interstate hauls in the U.S. Tractor units with the hybrid propulsion mechanism would tap into the grid for the inter-city part, then switch to diesel for local delivery. The ultimate test would be the overall cost, taking into account the capital cost of the hybrid tractor and the cost for delivered power, amortising the capital cost of the catenary system and ongoing maintenance. Trucks would simply have an electrical meter and pay by the kilowatt-hours they used from the system.

I’d expect this would be economical only for trucks that spent a lot of their time on roads equipped with the power lane.

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But the metropolitan areas are where there are likely the most restrictions on diesels. Thus, your interstate charging system suggests use with small batteries to handle the off-interstate use. The local delivery is typically done with smaller trucks (e.g., that make pickups in distribution centers where the semis deliver).

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