India may also have an ‘electric highway’ stretch, similar to the one inaugurated in Sweden recently, with help from the Scandinavian country, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
“We have sought a proposal from Sweden to build electric highway here, where we can run trucks and such vehicles in open traffic,” Gadkari told PTI.
The world´s first two-kilometre strip on road has been built near Gavle in Sweden for fossil-free transportation in which electrified trucks with pantographs connect to overhead electrified lines and are driven in open traffic, using technology developed by Siemens.
Gadkari said he had held talks in this connection with a Swedish delegation, led by Minister for Enterprise & Innovation, Mikael Damberg, which called on him after participating in the first meeting of the India-Sweden Business Leaders’ Roundtable.
Sweden has developed the new electric highway technology, a result of several years of cooperation between the Swedish Government and the private sector, which permits the trucks to operate as electric vehicles when on the electrified road and as regular hybrid vehicles at other times.
The Minister was apprised that all the trucks running on electric stretch have been produced by Scania and are hybrid and Euro 6-certified, running on biofuel.
The Swedish delegation explained that the trucks on such electric stretch receives electrical power from a pantograph power collector, mounted on the frame behind its cab and in turn connected to overhead power lines.
On going outside the electric stretch, the pantograph is disconnected and the truck is powered by the combustion engine or the battery-operated electric motor.
Gadkari said the present government’s emphasis is to promote bio-fuel and electric cars to prevent pollution as well as develop cheaper mode of transportation.
The Minister also said that he has sought Sweden’s cooperation in forming joint ventures for Indian companies for testing of vehicles which is being given high priority.
The Minister said that the BJP government was emphasising on generation of bio-fuel and reducing oil imports as this would minimise pollution and make the country self-reliant.
He also said that the vehicle scrapping policy would contribute significantly in curbing pollution as heavy commercial vehicles more than 15 years old, contributed to 65 per cent of the pollution.