Germany opens its first electric highway for trucks

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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by roadtester » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:35

This is an old story that IIRC has already featured in the EV thread ages ago.

From what I remember of the previous reporting, one element of the concept is that you can get a lot of charge into a lot of lorries by only kitting out a fairly small number of heavily trafficked sections of the network, so you don't need to cover anything like the whole lot.
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by roadtester » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:37

Halmyre wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 08:04
Swings and roundabouts, apaprt from the coast, how much energy would be expended to develop and construct the infrastructure needed to support this idea?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-5 ... revolution
We already have a thread for this - can someone merge, perhaps?

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=40254
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by KeithW » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:26

A version of this was proposed during the Thatcher era for the M1 and was beautifully ridiculed by John Prescott along the following lines.

The minister has an excellent idea which I think can be improved on.
Firstly we can couple more than one together reducing the number of drivers needed.
Secondly we can reduce frictional losses by running on steel rails the n we can congratulate ourselves on reinventing the railway.

Turning to practical issues all it takes is a simple pantograph failure to rip down half a mile of wires and the whole route comes to a halt. The costs of doing this would be enormous. Not only do you need to install thousands of miles of overhead wires along with all the substations and power feeds etc but you will have a very large number of bridges to rebuild as they will not have sufficient headroom. You will never cover more than a small percentage of roads so you will will need intermodal freight terminals where vehicles with independent power systems can take over. Planned electrification of railways has been cut back in recent years as the cost of doing so reached £4 million per km. There are around 3500 km of motorway in the UK, as the Americans would say - do the math. Dont forget to include the costs for the new power stations/wind farms needed.

If you want to reduce total emissions of CO2 this wont do it as when it comes to having dispatchable power as of today we rely on natural gas and nuclear and in 10 years we will have LESS nuclear power than we do now as the AGR reactors start to be closed.

If you want to reduce air pollutionmost of the hot spots are in urban areas. Part of the solution for that may well be modern trolley buses but you will still have an increasing dependence on the man in a white van. That probably can be handled with battery powered EV's - it worked for milk floats after all.

If I were appointed to address the issue I would have 3 core policies

1) Increase the electrical generation capacity by building new low carbon systems using either nuclear or carbon capture systems,

2) Resume and indeed accelerate railway electrification especially on freight routes.

3) Build more intermodal freight terminals where real time exchanges can happen. That is a container is picked directly from a train and loaded onto a truck which can drive out to its final destination, they used to call them goods yards and every station had one and local delivery vehicles like this.
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by Mark Hewitt » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:28

KeithW wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:26
The minister has an excellent idea which I think can be improved on.
Firstly we can couple more than one together reducing the number of drivers needed.
Secondly we can reduce frictional losses by running on steel rails the n we can congratulate ourselves on reinventing the railway.
Which is of course a silly argument as you can't get a train to drive off the railway and into the car park of the supermarket.
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by fras » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:30

More to the point, why not bring back the trolleybus !

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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by KeithW » Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:35

Mark Hewitt wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:28
KeithW wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:26
The minister has an excellent idea which I think can be improved on.
Firstly we can couple more than one together reducing the number of drivers needed.
Secondly we can reduce frictional losses by running on steel rails the n we can congratulate ourselves on reinventing the railway.
Which is of course a silly argument as you can't get a train to drive off the railway and into the car park of the supermarket.
Nor can an electric truck unless the local roads and supermarkets also have overhead wires.

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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by rhyds » Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:36

KeithW wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:35
Mark Hewitt wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:28
KeithW wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:26
The minister has an excellent idea which I think can be improved on.
Firstly we can couple more than one together reducing the number of drivers needed.
Secondly we can reduce frictional losses by running on steel rails the n we can congratulate ourselves on reinventing the railway.
Which is of course a silly argument as you can't get a train to drive off the railway and into the car park of the supermarket.
Nor can an electric truck unless the local roads and supermarkets also have overhead wires.
I think the idea is the truck will have a battery or diesel engine for "off wires" work, though of course this will further bite in to usable payload and raise issues around vertical clearance.
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by roadtester » Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:42

rhyds wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:36
I think the idea is the truck will have a battery or diesel engine for "off wires" work, though of course this will further bite in to usable payload and raise issues around vertical clearance.
Personally, I don't think too much of the concept but in the video, it can be seen at about 1:54 that the folded-down pantograph doesn't appear to stick up beyond other elements of the truck, so I think the only vertical clearance issues would be to do with technical failure or driver forgetfulness (which could still lead to a significant number of incidents, I'm guessing).
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by Mark Hewitt » Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:46

KeithW wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:35
Nor can an electric truck unless the local roads and supermarkets also have overhead wires.
It will if it has batteries or a diesel engine, which the ones in the video do.
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by rhyds » Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:48

roadtester wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:42
rhyds wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:36
I think the idea is the truck will have a battery or diesel engine for "off wires" work, though of course this will further bite in to usable payload and raise issues around vertical clearance.
Personally, I don't think too much of the concept but in the video, it can be seen at about 1:54 that the folded-down pantograph doesn't appear to stick up beyond other elements of the truck, so I think the only vertical clearance issues would be to do with technical failure or driver forgetfulness (which could still lead to a significant number of incidents, I'm guessing).
Is it a standard height tractor unit and trailer though?
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by roadtester » Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:51

rhyds wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:48
roadtester wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:42
rhyds wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:36
I think the idea is the truck will have a battery or diesel engine for "off wires" work, though of course this will further bite in to usable payload and raise issues around vertical clearance.
Personally, I don't think too much of the concept but in the video, it can be seen at about 1:54 that the folded-down pantograph doesn't appear to stick up beyond other elements of the truck, so I think the only vertical clearance issues would be to do with technical failure or driver forgetfulness (which could still lead to a significant number of incidents, I'm guessing).
Is it a standard height tractor unit and trailer though?
I'm not sure. To my inexpert eye, it looks as though the trailer section may actually be lower than normal.
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by KeithW » Thu Oct 31, 2019 14:24

roadtester wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 13:42

Personally, I don't think too much of the concept but in the video, it can be seen at about 1:54 that the folded-down pantograph doesn't appear to stick up beyond other elements of the truck, so I think the only vertical clearance issues would be to do with technical failure or driver forgetfulness (which could still lead to a significant number of incidents, I'm guessing).
You still have to review and possibly raise clearances on all roads fitted with such overhead wires. This is one of the things that made railway electrification difficult and expensive in the UK. The other issue is that having on board engines and transmissions(electrical or mechanical) that are a capable of doing more than a few miles at low speed will add considerably to the cost and reduce the available payload. It will also be used as an excuse for NOT electrifying routes as has already happened with many railways. This is one of those 'improvements' that could actually cost a great deal of money to make things worse.

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Re: Germany opens its first electric highway for trucks

Post by Gav » Sun Nov 24, 2019 19:06

Vierwielen wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 22:04
One major difference between the lorry overhead lines and train overhead lines is that each lorry has two pantographs - one for "live" and the other for "neutral" (OK - before anybody corrects me, both lines are probably "live", but at 180 degrees phase difference to each other). For the record, the "neutral" connection for trains is the railway track (I believe).
you cant make assumptions on the electrical distribution, Edinburgh Trams uses 750v dc with the circuit made by one wire suspended above the tram and the rail. As both cables are current carrying these are deemed to be the live conductors as they are carrying operational current. However the rail is tied to the potential of the general mass of the earth to ensure that there is no potential difference present at ground level that would give rise to possible shock hazards. That 750v dc is converted in the tram to provide 240v ac 50hz for the lighting and general power use through the tram. The tram motors are then driven by an electronic drive that controls the motors and make them provide the tram motion.

However this electrical truck requires two above truck cables to provide the electricity to the truck. This power will be at a relatively high voltage and depending on how its to be distributed be either ac or dc. the traction motors will be more than likely three phase in design with a drive unit attached to control its speed. There will also be batteries that could be charged at the same time as the truck is being powered by the electrical supply. The who idea being to limit the use of fossil fuels by the truck.

rails or a Scalextric style track wouldn't work on a road with too much other traffic however if a truck route was made then what would there be to stop them making a dedicated electric truck road that would power the truck and charge the batteries to allow them to drive for a few miles or so off the track.

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Re: Britain’s first e-highway for trucks moves a step closer

Post by Peter350 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 19:55

On the subject of electric lorries…
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... er-lorries

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Re: Britain’s first e-highway for trucks moves a step closer

Post by jervi » Wed Jul 28, 2021 21:24

It always seems to be the M180 to be the trial location of new motorway things. Wasn't it the first place to have upgraded concrete barriers to concrete too?

No doubt motorway upgrades and improvements in the future will include overhead lines by standard, making the costs of road projects much higher. On top of being an issue for when roads need widening, how are overhead lines meant to be provided in areas of roadworks.

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Re: Germany opens its first electric highway for trucks

Post by ravenbluemoon » Thu Jul 29, 2021 20:27

I suppose at least the M180 is quiet enough to avoid disruption while they're trialling, but also important as the main route out of places like Immingham Docks, Grimsby etc., and therefore likely to get some use from the visiting HGVs.
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Re: Britain’s first e-highway for trucks moves a step closer

Post by Conekicker » Thu Jul 29, 2021 23:06

jervi wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 21:24
It always seems to be the M180 to be the trial location of new motorway things. Wasn't it the first place to have upgraded concrete barriers to concrete too?

No doubt motorway upgrades and improvements in the future will include overhead lines by standard, making the costs of road projects much higher. On top of being an issue for when roads need widening, how are overhead lines meant to be provided in areas of roadworks.
Will the cables only be over the nearside lane? Closing the nearside lane and it's neighbour to resurface the road will require the tippers to be a bit careful, even if the power is turned off. The closure will also mean that any suitably equipped HGVs will be out of luck when it comes to using the overhead wires. Running traffic on the hardshoulder during works will also make using the wires interesting, especially if narrow lanes are involved. Will gaps be needed at entry and exit slips to let abnormal (overheight) loads on and off?
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Re: Germany opens its first electric highway for trucks

Post by Vierwielen » Fri Jul 30, 2021 13:07

I understand that the Council of European standard for maximum heights of vehicles is 4 metres and superstructure clearances to be 4.5 metres. Countries may, within their own territory have a greater maximum height and in the UK, the maximum is 5.03 metres (formerly 16 feet). This implies that power lines in Germany will be between 4 and 4.5 metres above ground level, but in the UK they will have to be over 5 metres above ground level. This could make for some interesting stadnards discussions.

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Re: Germany opens its first electric highway for trucks

Post by Mark Hewitt » Sat Jul 31, 2021 09:50

Inductive pickup. As in wires buried in the road, is probably an order of magnitude less efficient than the direct connection you get from overhead wires, but it would mean the infrastructure can continue to be used as normal.
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Re: Trolleylorries?

Post by KeithW » Mon Aug 02, 2021 15:34

rhyds wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:27
As I mentioned over in the EV thread this could work for the "core" trunk networks (M1, M3-6, M20, M25, A14 etc) but would only really be useful for trunking to big regional centres without some kind of decent range diesel engine on board. Also, the extra weight of the pantograph system would mean less usable payload capacity.
I think there would be problems with this in the UK as large loads dont have much clearance. In most of main land Europe the max height load allowed is 4 metres whereas in the UK main highways can usually cope with 5 metre high loads. A railway pantograph can weigh 130 kg but lightweight pantographs can weight as little as 3 kg. However an overhead line thats 5 metres above the road isnt ideal for a standard car. Some of the old trolley buses had a either a battery or small engine to allow them to move when off the wires. One alternative is a hydrogen fuel cell for short local journeys off the grid. They have no moving parts and the exhaust is H2O.

We all know the sort of problems that occur when faulty pantographs bring down miles of wire on an overhead line, imagine the chaos this would cause on the M6 or M25.

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