Costain wins funding for electric roads study

A Scania HGV operating on a catenary lorry ‘e-highway’ demonstrator in Germany. Image: Siemens

Costain will lead a government-funded feasibility study of an ‘electric roads’ system that will charge battery-powered trucks as they drive.

Costain will consider a 20km stretch of road near Scunthorpe for a possible trial of the electric roads system, which supplies battery-powered trucks with electricity from overhead catenaries via a pantograph, enabling HGVs to charge dynamically.

The project is one of five feasibility studies that aim to demonstrate zero-emission freight technology studies at scale on UK roads. The Department for Transport and Innovate UK have set aside £20m for the studies.

Among the other projects is a hydrogen fuel cell feasibility study, led by Arcola Energy, which will design a possible future trial of hydrogen fuel cell trucks and new refuelling infrastructure in Scotland.

William Wilson, CEO of Siemens Mobility Ltd, said: “Investing in proven technologies like e-highways can help us go further and faster to decarbonise the UK’s transport network, and support jobs and growth to level up the country.

“By building on successful trials from other countries like Germany, our ERS consortium M180 trial will help the UK move a step closer to replacing more polluting trucks with clean, efficient electric HGVs.”

Richard Kemp-Harper, strategy director at Arcola Energy, said: “We’re pleased to be leading this initiative to decarbonise heavy-duty transport. The study will enable us to expand the application of Arcola Energy’s A-Drive fuel cell powertrain platform to a critical group of HGV operators that can benefit from Scotland’s strong potential for green hydrogen production.”

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  1. Totally stupid, it will cost Trillions and how long to construct? How many miles of roads have to be electrified? Has any one thought of the traffic disruption? and delays in journey’s!! there is a cost to that as well!!

    I have better ideas that would have results straight away. i know that that statement will be poo pooed but you have to look out side the box.

  2. One must consider the idea. However, the cost to supply power is a consideration that doesn’t seem to be talked about much. Where is the electricity going to come from? What safety measures will be in place in the event of a power cut? What about the weather e.g. extreme heat in the summer, extreme winter weather especially wind? There are a lot of research required and now is the time to start. The diesel engine’s days are numbered. We must move on.

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