Most researches and surveys found Sweden to be among the top ten happiest countries in the world. However, when it comes to the ecological footprint of Sweden things are not as happy as they can be. According to a study made in 2014 by World Wildlife Fund, the ecological footprint per capita in Sweden places the country on the 10th place in the world. However, things are about to change as Sweden launched this week the first eco highway system.
Considering the fact that transportation represents more than 30 percent of Sweden`s carbon dioxide emissions, it is only normal for authorities to try and do something in regards to this issue.
This first eco highway system they are seeking to implement was developed by Siemens. For the next two years, Swedish authorities will test the system on a 1.25 miles distance, on a highway located north of the capital city, Stockholm.
This first eco highway system is part of an environmental protection strategy which tries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per capita in order to minimize the negative impact on climate changes.
It would be important to add that nearly 50 percent of the CO2 emissions generated by vehicles come from freight transport. This is the reason for which, at least for now, the system is destined to hybrid trucks only. The test will use two diesel hybrid vehicles that will run under a catenary, very much similar to the overhead wires that power trolleybuses.
A system will be installed on each one of the two trucks, allowing it to connect and disconnect without any issue. It is important to mention that the vehicles will be powered by a standard combustion engine and by an electrical engine also. In order to connect to the eco highway system, each truck will be equipped with a pantograph, which will be capable of recharging the vehicle`s batteries while it`s moving.
Siemens, the company who developed this highway, also wants to implement a similar demonstration project in the U.S., in California. Along with Volvo, they will run several tests next year. Their plan is to determine exactly the way different truck configurations interact with the infrastructure of an ecological highway. Their tests will take place in areas close to Los Angeles and Long Beach.
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