Siemens trialling ‘electric highway’ for trucks in Sweden
Late last month, Sweden opened an electric highway for freight trucks in Gävle, north of Stockholm, as a testing ground for hybrid technology designed to reduce emissions.
Specially designed Scania trucks will travel along Siemens’ 2km long ‘eHighway’, located along the E16 motorway, using a pantograph which feeds power to the vehicles from wires running above it. Some have likened the technology to existing electric tram and trolley systems.
During a two-year trial, Swedish transport officials will study whether or not the eHighway is suitable for commercial use. The country is aiming to operate its transit system without the use of fossil fuels by 2030.
Transportation accounts for more than one-third of Sweden’s CO2 emissions, with nearly half of these emissions coming from freight transport.
"The Siemens eHighway is twice as efficient as conventional internal combustion engines. The Siemens innovation supplies trucks with power from an overhead contact line,” said Roland Edel, Chief Engineer at the Siemens Mobility Division. “This means that not only is energy consumption cut by half, but local air pollution is reduced too."
Battery or natural gas solutions can also be implemented as an alternative to the diesel hybrid drive system being tested in Sweden. This allows the system to be adapted flexibly for a number of applications.
Siemens is currently working on another eHighway demonstration project to be undertaken in California in collaboration with Volvo. Tests will be conducted next year near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.