Electric highway

The world’s first electric highway

The Swedish railway network is overloaded and in great need of repair. This has led to an increase in lorries on the roads. However, lorries emit a significant amount of carbon dioxide so finding sustainable alternatives is important. That is the background to the electric highway project.

It took a long time before the decision was made on whether the world’s first electric highway would be built in Gästrikland or California, USA. Gästrikland was chosen. To begin with, the test road will be a two-kilometre stretch of the E16, from Kungsgården to Sandviken. However, if the project is successful, the electric highway will be expanded all the way from Avesta, via Borlänge to the Port of Gävle.

How does the electric highway work?

Have you noticed the overhead lines about 5 metres up in the air between Kungsgården and Sandviken? There’s a post approximately every 60 metres that holds two electricity cables. When the lorries come driving along the road, something called a pantograph automatically rises up from the roof of the vehicle and charges the electric motor. When the cars brake, power is returned to the system. If there is no electricity to connect to, the car is powered by a diesel engine. That’s how the cars work today, but imagine if the diesel engine could be exchanged for a fuel cell engine instead. That would make lorry transportation between the heavy industry regions in Dalarna all the way to the Port of Gävle even more environmentally friendly.

The project

Financing from the Swedish Transport Administration means that Region Gävleborg, Scania and Siemens can build, drive, test and evaluate the world’s first stretch of electric road for heavy lorries on a public road. The project will run from June 2016 until December 2017 and will investigate whether it’s financially and practically viable for all partners to run the electric highway. If the result is successful there will be a great chance that transport routes all over Sweden will become electrified.

The major advantage of electric highways is of course that emissions disappear almost entirely. Additionally, both energy consumption and maintenance costs are significantly lower than with combustion engines. The efficiency of electric power is 77 per cent, which is high compared to a diesel engine, while energy consumption is about a fifth of diesel and petrol.

Sweden is at the leading edge of environmental technology. This project will give us even more knowledge and experience that will create new innovative products, services and employment in the future. Something to be proud of!


Sandviken Pure Power

When wise people from all over the world in industry, academia and the public sector interacts exciting things will happen.
Sandviken is such a place in the field of fossil-free and climate-neutral energy. Here we create, together, innovation power.

Sandviken Pure Power is an open communication concept that is administered by the Municipality of Sandviken. Here we come together, who wants to contribute in making Sweden one of the world's first fossil-free countries. It is here it happens. Right now.


Are you more interested in what is happening in the region regarding fossil-free transport and energy, please contact:
Anders Lundell, EU Strategist, Sandviken Municipality, anders.lundell@sandviken.se

Are you more interested in the communication concept Sandviken PurePower, contact:
Odd Westby, Head of Information, Sandviken Municipality, odd.westby@sandviken.se