The first electric road has been opened in Sweden. Outokumpu stainless steel will be transported through the road. The electric road project aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels with the help of electrification in road transport.
The two-kilometer-long electric road for heavy-truck transport has been inaugurated at an on-site ceremony on 22 June. The project is the first of its kind on a public road anywhere in the world. Electrically powered trucks will be strolling along the road once a week up till 2018. During this week about 100 trucks of Outokumpu stainless steel will be transported on the test stretch.
Outokumpu is committed to reducing emission throughout its entire supply chain, including transport, and therefore Outokumpu is proud to take part in the project along with other industrial companies. The road is located near the town of Gävle between Sandviken and Kungsgården near Outokumpu’s site in Avesta. Gävle port is an important hub and all container traffic to Outokumpu Avesta comes via the Gävle port.
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the potential for operating heavy vehicles without using fossil fuels. The trucks receive the power from overhead lines through a pantograph power collector. The road reduces fossil fuel emissions by 80-90 per cent and the energy usage is halved thanks to the efficiency of electric motors. Operating costs will also be low, since less energy is required and electricity is a cheaper source of energy than diesel.
The construction of the electric road is inspired by Sweden’s national goals for the country’s vehicle fleet to be fossil-fuel free by 2030. If the project goes well, the next goal is to electrify the entire route from the port of Gävle to Borlänge. Afterwards the vision is to create a triangle of electrified roads in the region. This would mean that the entire highway stretch from Gävle port to Outokumpu Avesta would be electrified.
The electric road project is a cooperative effort between Swedish business and academia as well as government authorities. Trafikverket, the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, Scania, and Siemens are the chief financiers, and Region Gävleborg is coordinating the project.