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New £19 billion ‘e-highway’ network with overhead cables for electric lorries ‘could slash carbon emissions by 5%

July 28, 2020
tags:

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t AC Osborn

 

image

An electric road system which could see a network of overhead charging cables along the UK’s major road network ‘would almost completely decarbonise UK road freight’, a report has found.

The plan, which would cost an estimated £19.3billion, would see National Grid powered catenary cables charge 65 per cent of the nation’s lorries using an extendable rig known as a pantograph- similar to those used on an electric train.

The proposal, which has the potential to pay for itself within 15 years, is believed to be ‘technically viable, economically attractive and could be achieved by the late 2030s’, according to the report by The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight.  

An electric road system which would see National Grid powered catenary cables charge the nation's lorries along the UK's major roads could 'almost completely decarbonise UK road freight'. Pictured: A Siemens e-highway system

The report proposes three distinct phases starting in 2025 and expected to run until the late 2030s, with each phase taking between 2-3 years. The project will generate substantial revenue for HM Treasury as a result of the inherent energy efficiency and low economic costs of operating electric lorries, with findings showing that the investment could be paid back within 15 years. Pictured: Motorways in blue and A-roads in green

According to the report, the cables would link to lorries driving on the inside lanes on 7,000km of the UK’s roads and quickly and cost-effectively decarbonise HGVs.

The overhead cables, which are often used on trains, supply the positive and negative electrical circuit that is picked up through a pantograph collector sitting on the roof of the HGV.

The electricity transmitted along the active pantograph would power the lorry’s electric motor and recharge an onboard electric battery, enabling the vehicles to travel to destinations outside of their electric zones.

The pantograph can be easily connected to and disconnected from the contact wire either automatically or manually at the push of a button.    

The HGV vehicle can then move away from the wires to overtake or complete its journey. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8563909/New-19-billion-e-highway-network-overhead-cables-electric-lorries.html

 

As most of the comments in the Mail have pointed out, why waste £19bn, just to cut emissions by a tiny 5%?

Claimed savings are at best dubious. What allowance, for instance, has been made for upgrading distribution networks?

Then there are the problems of going off the main trunk routes, In theory, lorries will switch to battery power, but how long will that last? And what about European freight?

And then there is the question of where all of this electricity would come from.

 

The report comes from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, and personally I would not trust anything from any body with “Sustainable” in the name. They claim that the economics are so good that it should easily attract private finance. I’ll believe that when I see it!

65 Comments
  1. deejaym permalink
    July 28, 2020 12:55 pm

    The proposal, which has the potential to pay for itself within 15 years……… yeah right

  2. tim leeney permalink
    July 28, 2020 12:59 pm

    What are the GWPF doing? Have they died?

  3. July 28, 2020 1:01 pm

    And given the number of accidents involving HGVs that there are on the principle routes stated, there is no way that such a system can be considered reliable and effective. Besides which most of the rail routes are already pantographed, a system originally designed for the movement of freight. Why duplicate?

    • July 28, 2020 3:49 pm

      Precisely, use rail for freight and build distribution centres near rail freight hubs. Get long distance freight off our roads.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        July 30, 2020 5:06 pm

        I’d convert rail tracks to road beds for automated vehicles. Putting wires over the motorways is bound to cause trouble.

    • In the Real World permalink
      July 28, 2020 9:38 pm

      The idea of putting freight on the rails is impossible .
      They spent about £100 million on upgrading the 10 miles of railway into Felixstowe , [ UKs biggest container port ], which now carries thousands of extra containers a week . With the result that the railways now carry about 3% more goods than before , but 90% still goes on the roads .

      The battery Electric trucks will never work , because a full size container would put them well over the total maximum weight . So that would mean hybrid trucks . Which most people know are very expensive to buy & very very expensive to run if they are doing more than a short distance per day .

      Without even mentioning the billions of £s needed for the dozens of new power stations & upgrading the grid , the cost of transport going electric would have to be passed on to customers which would mean huge increases in cost for everything in the shops & services to the public .

      Just more total insanity .

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        July 30, 2020 5:19 pm

        Every mode change is costly involving cranes and marshalling yards, which is why rail freight for containers is only competitive over distances of several hundred miles. The Betuwelijn that connects Rotterdam to the Ruhr has been a financial disaster, the more so as coal (which goes straight from a loading siding to the power station) has subsided as an import.

  4. Ian Wilson permalink
    July 28, 2020 1:01 pm

    Looks like re-inventing trolley-buses but for freight – why did we scrap them?

    • Up2snuff permalink
      July 28, 2020 3:06 pm

      “Why did we scrap them?” Ummmh. Oooooh, the easy ones first, eh? ‘Cos they didn’t work?

      Especially in cold weather. And then, of course, the pantographs could occasionally misbehave or break. I remember that that was the start of the ‘dead bus’ jokes. They used to run trolley-buses down Bounds Green Road in North London and my father used to tell stories how one would fail near its stop. Another would try to pull around it to let passengers off and onto the bus but would fail to make a clean getaway and the pantograph would disengage.

      By then a third bus would arrive and try to get around the blockage and stop some way down the road but in avoiding the jam it, too, would lose power. Eventually one half of quite a wide road was blocked with dead buses. Dad would see all this on his way to the rail station for his commute into London. I remember having a ride or two on trolley-buses just before the were scrapped.

      Stopping to pick up passengers or let others off would not be a problem for trucks but why try to re-invent the railways? Why not just build the railways that are needed instead of super-expensive vanity schemes for politicians and Civil Servants?

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        July 30, 2020 5:12 pm

        I’d repurpose the railways as dedicated routes for automated traffic. No specification on how it is powered – leave that to the market. The advantage is that with roadways you can substantially increase the traffic because you don’t need long signalling sections and braking distances, and scheduling doesn’t have to be a train at a time. Making the routes automated vehicle only means that they only have to be capable of responding to each other – not other vehicles, thus speeding and cheapening their introduction.

  5. Roger B permalink
    July 28, 2020 1:05 pm

    In normal use the current flow and return should balance so the vehicle should be at around zero volts. In case of an accident you could/would have a vehicle at the full overhead line voltage. This is not usually a problem for trains and trams as they run onearthed metal rails but is a known problem for trolley buses. There will be various automatic protection systems to isolate the pantographs but these may not function in all circumstances.

  6. Aaron Halliwell permalink
    July 28, 2020 1:17 pm

    Not a chance. The Goverment can’t even commit to electrifying the transpennine line properly!

    http://www.theoldhamtimes.co.uk/news/18609789.greenfield-based-rail-expert-warns-nightmare-trains/

  7. dearieme permalink
    July 28, 2020 1:22 pm

    Note the London-centric building schedule. Surely the scheme should start from the Mersey-Humber line and work north, to join the work spreading south from Inverness and Aberdeen?

    Levelling up, that’s the game.

  8. Philip Mulholland permalink
    July 28, 2020 1:24 pm

    Find ever more imaginative ways to spend other people’s money on things we don’t need.
    But think of all the jobs, its got to be good for the economy /sarc

  9. July 28, 2020 1:47 pm

    The great thing about economics and free markets is that people spend money on what they want, and somehow it all works out. Profits keep the good ideas in business and failure takes care of the old, bad ideas. I would like to see the £19bn come from private investors, but these people want it to come from you and me, so that if it fails there is no risk for the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, but there is the guarantee of very hefty consultancy fees. My response is not a chance.

  10. Geoff B permalink
    July 28, 2020 1:54 pm

    Actually the full report is well written and makes some sort of sense. Its a Siemens system which has been trialed in Germany. However it does seem to be a bit pie in the sky, how to cope with bridges, underpasses, diversions, breakdowns, its just going to take one truck to pull the wire down and everything stops. I could not find the operating voltage in the report, the railway voltage is 33,000 volts and it would be madness to string that above a road. However the reports first sentence explains the reason for the recommendation.

    In July 2019, the UK Government revised its Climate Change Act (2008) to mandate net-zero
    greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. This is an ambitious, but essential objective requiring sweeping changes across the whole of the UK’s energy system.

    Climate change act is a legal requirement, until it is repealed then expect more of these science fiction solutions to a non existent problem

    • John, Uk permalink
      July 28, 2020 4:27 pm

      UK Electrification 25Kv AC Overhead / ?3Kv Dc 3rd rail (southern).
      Study out in Germany Batteries v Hydrogen trains (passenger) comes down on side of batteries – see https://www.railwaygazette.com/traction-and-rolling-stock/batteries-beat-hydrogen-on-cost-and-efficiency-vde-study-shows/57041.article

      • Nicholas Lewis permalink
        July 28, 2020 11:04 pm

        Third Rail is 750V DC which is same voltage used on the tram systems in various cities around UK so doubt HSE will allow any higher for this proposal. If this is the voltage and you want a system that can support HGV’s at same denisties seen on a trunk motorways now the distribution infrastructure would be enormous and not particular efficient. When the overhead line comes down on the railways it takes hours if not days to repair so hows that going to work.

        Moving more freight to rail is the only viable solution.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        July 30, 2020 5:50 pm

        A quick back of the envelope suggests that a truck would consume ~120kW on average so with one passing every 20 seconds you would have 30 on a ten mile stretch which would therefore need to be able to deliver 3.6MW on average, or say twice that allowing for peak usage and a safety margin. At 750V that is 9.6kA of current. Quite a beefy cable, to put it mildly (it’s why it’s a third rail system) – even before considering the impact of power factors etc.. I think they’d be forced to operate at rather higher voltages, which again limits the idea of having it on public roads.

  11. jack permalink
    July 28, 2020 2:15 pm

    This is nothing new for the UK.
    When I was a kid in 1950’s Manchester a lot of the busses for miles across the city and around it ran on overhead cables and were called trolley busses.

    • M E permalink
      July 31, 2020 10:30 pm

      This was true in central London in the 1940sand 1950,. they were called London Transport along with the Underground. They were big red double decker buses and climbed the hill to Islington Upper Street.. I think motor traffic just got out of their way with no bus lanes.

  12. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 28, 2020 2:24 pm

    I see Boris, Gove etc. are still in cycling revolution fantasy land – except when it kills off commerce in his own constituency. How making road congestion worse for the majority will solve anything is beyond me.

  13. July 28, 2020 2:51 pm

    “personally I would not trust anything from any body with “Sustainable” in the name.” Agreed. I also avoid ones with “truth”, “simple”, “natural”, etc. It’s a neon sign that the product is probably not at all what the label says. Plus, “sustainable” has no real meaning. It can be applied to any product as part of marketing.

    Why did we switch from trains to trucks? At least in the USA. If we wanted tethered transportation, trains worked well and it’s probably a lot less expensive than this proposal for trucks. Upgrade the trains, tracks and use the trucks for the last “leg” to wherever the product is going. I do think this was considered part of the downside of trains and why trucks took over (higher employment numbers, too–looks good for the government). So now England is basically proposing going back to the train idea. Global warming actually means “go backwards, destroy progress and cause massive environmental damage in the process”.

    • July 29, 2020 6:58 pm

      Why did we switch from trains to trucks?

      Trucks ran door to door, and were cheaper and more efficient – for shorter journeys at least. One loading, one unload.

    • M E permalink
      July 31, 2020 10:36 pm

      I think it was the rise of containers for transport of goods. One container can travel by sea on a container ship to a port and be loaded onto a train to a depot and onto a truck to a supermarket ot shopping mall. It is a different way of transporting goods which has led to supermarkets and shopping malls taking over. People use cars to visit them and parking garages disfigure towns.

  14. mjr permalink
    July 28, 2020 3:04 pm

    or maybe get their fingers out, get the railways electrified and capacity increased (and not by HS2) and then allow for lorries to be transported by train (as per channel tunnel) — or is that too obvious?

  15. Up2snuff permalink
    July 28, 2020 3:14 pm

    How come it’s beyond the wit of man, or woman for that matter, to stick solar panels on a slab sided, flat roofed truck or articulated trailer? Are they not ideal for that? Why cannot trucks and articulated lorries go the hybrid route, mixed EV and diesel fuel.

    It will not be long before the oil companies or other businesses will not want to refine oil to petrol. As our dwindling supplies of Brent Crude are good enough to go straight into a diesel vehicle without any refinery work, I would have thought that that is the way to go for the immediate future.

    • Curious George permalink
      July 28, 2020 4:38 pm

      Oh, sunny Britain … Just add batteries. And avoid math carefully.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 28, 2020 4:51 pm

      If you do some maths, you’ll realise! A 13L Scania is over 400kW, and I don’t think that is particularly powerful these days. In ideal conditions you might get 0.2kW/m2 in the UK.

      Tesla has a crazy electric semi in the pipeline anyway – supposedly.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        July 28, 2020 8:21 pm

        Sure, CG & GN, the aerodynamics of a brick also don’t help. That’s why I suggest the hybrid step for lorries and artics. But it’s easy to assume that that technical/math situation will pertain for ever. Who knows what developments will come about when push comes to shove?

        EV Cars, let alone trucks and artics, will have to lose all their bells and whistles. If people want range and reliability from EVs in winter, they will have to wind their own windows. I’ve been inside a truck or two and the current tech inside is mind boggling. They drive themselves, pretty much. The guy/gal behind the wheel is just there to react to emergencies and think better than a computer. That’s why a Scania needs 13 litres and 400Kw. Take out the microwave, the PC, the TV, the electric blanket, the music system, it’ll all have to go.

        And there will be a shove. We are tending to extract oil from more and more difficult places ie. deep ocean sites. The easy grab oil that remains is mostly in difficult parts of the world (Caspian basin, Indonesia) for stability or comes with religio-socio-political price tags attached, just as it has from Saudi in the past.

        It may not be long before the oil companies say: “We cannot make money taking oil from this field, this field, that field and oh, also that one over there. We are going to have to leave the stuff in the ground.” That’s with a price at $60/$70/$80 pb. Currently, it is in the mid-low-$40s pb. Cannot now remember who it is but one oil company has just started a massive diversion into other activities, including home energy. If I recall correctly, BP also started to diversify a while back and were promptly accused of ‘greenwashing’.

        The GreenMob & XR do not know what they have unleashed. It may come back to bite them. Hard. Sure hope so.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        July 29, 2020 9:57 am

        The laws of physics and nature persist, sunlight is a weak diffuse power source, and there is the law of diminishing returns. There’s no possible development that will change that. If you go hybrid you add more weight, carry less cargo. You have to cause pollution/use energy to build all this extra hardware. The bulk of the work is required to shift the cargo, the cab home comforts are a tiny % of the 40T. Even if you could clad the whole semi, any power from solar PV would be near inconsequential, and then there is all the dirt and damaging road debris – stones/nuts/bolts, the panels will never be orientated correctly, HGVs like to run at night and have curtain sides……..

    • Iain Reid permalink
      July 29, 2020 7:47 am

      Hello Up to snuff,

      to answer your question requires you to find out how little power even a forty foot articulated lorry with solar panels all over it, at a far from ideal angle, all over it generates even on a clear sunny day.

  16. Ian Wilson permalink
    July 28, 2020 4:20 pm

    A bit off topic, but as a Sheffield resident, does Paul know why the all-electric Woodhead rail line was closed, and could it be re-opened? I think National Grid ran cables through the tunnel, which was only about 25 years old when closed, but does this kill off revival for ever?

    • John, Uk permalink
      July 28, 2020 4:23 pm

      Main traffic was trans-Pennine coal haulage, when that died raison d’etre went with it.

    • July 28, 2020 6:19 pm

      Currently the road has been shut for weeks as well!!

      You’re right about the cables, and most of the track through Woodhead is now the Transpennine Trail, cycle path etc. I cycle it regularly.So that pretty much kills it off for good.

      George Osborne’s idea of a brand new Sheffield to Manchester motorway/rail link would make more sense

      • Ian Wilson permalink
        July 29, 2020 5:49 am

        Thank you for that. I didn’t know the tunnel was now open as a cycle route, which pleases me as a keen cyclist. In a strange way I feel glad for the many who died building the original tunnels. They do make superb routes. I have ridden through tunnels near Matlock and Combe Down at Bath, a tunnel built without ventilation shafts which train crews must have dreaded. I believe one crew trundled into Bath unconscious.
        On the C2C the route goes over Hownes Gill Viaduct, a splendid structure built by Thomas Bouch of Tay Bridge infamy. Some of his engineering was pretty good!

      • July 29, 2020 10:13 am

        Unfortunately the tunnel is still shut, you have to cycle up the road. But the old track is no a cycle path from Woodhead Station down to Hadfield.

        There’s plenty of tunnels open on the Monsal Trail though, and also one on the TPT near me at Thurgoland

  17. Ajax permalink
    July 28, 2020 4:36 pm

    What a truly magnificent load of old bollo. I would be weeping copiously were it not for my uproarious crippling laughter.

  18. Daz permalink
    July 28, 2020 4:37 pm

    How big is the battery ? 200 Kw ? how far does it take the truck ? what’s it weigh ? how much carying capacity is lost dragging a unused battery up and down the highways ?

  19. July 28, 2020 4:43 pm

    What a glorious future awaits!

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 28, 2020 4:53 pm

      Headline needed ‘Politicians off their trolley bus’.

  20. July 28, 2020 5:32 pm

    My innovation would be to have those same overhead cables but to attach dirigibles to them. A burgeoning population; the difficulty of pilot training for flying cars. No traffic jams and our cities freed up. Dirigibles would not need pilots, could travel on zip wires.

  21. July 28, 2020 6:00 pm

    Bonkers for at least 2 reasons. Firstly, the impossibility of getting new baseload power stations, who is going to invest in one of those? Secondly, the desperate need to cut costs for businesses on life support, transport disruption and extra taxes/costs would be crazy.

  22. Dave Ward permalink
    July 28, 2020 7:26 pm

    “In theory, lorries will switch to battery power, but how long will that last?”

    I am old enough to remember fleets of Scammell 3 wheeled “Mechanical Horses” running around town, collecting and delivering parcels & freight from the railway station. This (inevitably) meant that an item was loaded & unloaded several times between factory and customer, and a journey could take all day or more. Now, many of those deliveries are done in a single “hop”, and in far less time. Why would any transport manager want to go back 40 years if his new fleet couldn’t manage the same job without running out battery power?

    • Up2snuff permalink
      July 28, 2020 8:33 pm

      Dave, I remember those, too. They would come out all the way from Kings Cross and Euston to the north London suburbs.

      Back then we had more of a rail system with freight regularly running to suburban yards. The coal depot in Palmers Green was served by rail with a siding but the yard closed because some of the custom went to power steam locos. More people switched to High Speed Gas for cooking and central heating in the 1970s and that was it. Old King Coal died.

      There’s a supermarket on top of that yard now. It has been there for over thirty years if my memory is correct.

      • July 30, 2020 1:20 am

        p.s. – This RAF Scammell will fly before their electric trucks boondoggle succeeds.

    • July 29, 2020 1:30 am

      I never heard of them. Clever idea.
      https://nodum.org/scammel-scarab/
      Thanks.

  23. Gamecock permalink
    July 28, 2020 8:01 pm

    ‘The proposal, which has the potential to pay for itself within 15 years’

    If an employee brought me a project with a 15 year payback, we’d have a serious performance review right then.

    ‘is believed to be ‘technically viable’ by those who wish very hard.

    ‘economically attractive’

    As above, the return in AWFUL. It’s not even economically viable.

    ‘and could be achieved by the late 2030s’

    What’s the hurry?

    ‘according to the report by The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight’

    Certainly an unbiased source.

    As I have pointed out before, this type of Greenie release has nothing to do with the topic; it is propaganda to get people to believe that Net Zero/Green World is viable. It’s not.

    BWTM: Every lorry owner must spend capital for new lorries, with near zero resale for the old.*

    *Well, okay, they can call them “trucks” and move the steering wheels to the left side and sell them in the rest of the world. Which will still be using them.

  24. mikewaite permalink
    July 28, 2020 8:20 pm

    For nearly 30 years the M6 has had long stretches of road works, contra flows and 50mph limits in order to put concrete blocks on the central reservation and put cables in ditches beside the hard shoulder to make a “Smart motorway” Admittedly in some sections part of the embankment had to be cut away to accommodate the cables, but overall it is a rate of work of about 3miles/year.
    If they put in overhead cables they will have to close an entire up or down stream for safety reasons, meaning traffic reduced , in places to a single lane on a 3 lane section. On those sections where the hard shoulder has been converted to an overflow lane, will it have cables above it?. If not drivers on the extreme left hand lane will have to be legally restricted to the max lorry speed , 55 or 60mph on the other lanes otherwise undertaking, contrary to the law, may take place.
    The assumption seems to be that electrifying the motorways will be as easy as electrifying the Manchester – London main rail line – a really positive move that reduced almost immedaitely the Manchester – London journey from 4 hours to 2, or so it seemed .
    How does the investment pay off ? If it reduces the cost of transport and therefore the cost of goods and services it might eventually pay off but it depends on the effective electricity charge compared to that of diesel (+ tax). I suppose if a massive carbon tax was introduced, from which electric lorries, were exempt but not diesel lorries then you could argue that the investment would eventually pay off.
    IMO , but I am not a traffic engineer this idea makes the tidal lagoon look sensible.Was it something that Boris dreamt up in his Wuflu induced delirium?.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 30, 2020 5:59 pm

      I’ve never seen all lanes of a smart motorway in use without associated speed restrictions. Indeed, it’s rare that they don’t play with the trainset even when traffic is light.

  25. Up2snuff permalink
    July 28, 2020 8:42 pm

    And when people misjudge the power left in their EV car and it just stops in the inside lane what happens to these trucks then?

  26. Nick permalink
    July 28, 2020 9:25 pm

    Red Trolley Lorry. Yellow Trolley Lorry
    Red Trolley Lorry. Rellow Torry Lolly. Humph. I’ve had enough of that.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 30, 2020 6:00 pm

      Yeo! Very good! Made me chuckle.

  27. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 28, 2020 10:30 pm

    If they think it could be done for £19 billion they are dreaming. My bet would be at least three times that much. So no payback.

    How curious that the claimed cost gets paid back in a timescale that just makes sense.

  28. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 28, 2020 10:51 pm

    Five per cent of one per cent and global temperature in 2100 is under control! Hurrah!

  29. OldFool permalink
    July 28, 2020 10:52 pm

    Looking at the image of the lorry, I see the words: “Energy from the LORRIES brakes…” on the red panel

    I should probably say something smart about Daily Mail, sub-editors, educational standards (inability to spell and credibility of the current generation) etc, but I feel too old and depressed.

    God, what is the country coming to, giving this rubbish and credence?

  30. July 29, 2020 12:40 am

    previously “David Cebon from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight posted this blog highlighting some of the challenges with #Hydrogen ”

    They don’t event have a Twitter account
    so it’s probably just that one guy
    Yep, him Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Cambridge University
    ,and he adds 2 chums at other unis
    http://www.csrf.ac.uk/people/

    So it looks like a *glorified school project to me*

    You should never start with a big project
    where is the little test one ?

    Live sparky test wires that’s going to go well with a motorway full of petrol tankers …NOT

  31. Tony Budd permalink
    July 29, 2020 11:24 am

    Dear Paul, This is hilarious! Apart from what happens away from the electrified road, a pantograph is totally incompatible with a rubber-tyred vehicle as the whole circuit requires a return connection. This is via the rails for trains or trams. As Wikipedia puts it: An electrical circuit requires at least two conductors. Trams and railways use the overhead line as one side of the circuit and the steel rails as the other side of the circuit. For a trolleybus, no rails are available for the return current, as the vehicles use rubber tyres on the road surface. Trolleybuses use a second parallel overhead line for the return, and two trolley-poles, one contacting each overhead wire. (Pantographs are generally incompatible with parallel overhead lines.) The circuit is completed by using both wires.

    Yours, Tony Budd

  32. July 29, 2020 11:41 am

    “could slash carbon emissions by 5%”

    Slash? A 5% reduction is a tiny nick, not a slash.

    Stay safe and healthy, all.
    Bob

  33. Gamecock permalink
    July 29, 2020 6:36 pm

    “The proposal, which has the potential to pay for itself within 15 years, is believed to be ‘technically viable, economically attractive and could be achieved by the late 2030s’, according to the report by The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight.”

    Hold on. A project that pays for itself in 15 years is NOT ‘economically attractive.’ It’s awful.

    ‘The pantograph can be easily connected to and disconnected from the contact wire either automatically or manually at the push of a button.’

    While you wait patiently in the car behind them. What is ‘manually at the push of a button?’

    Will they be able to change lanes?

    ‘According to the report, the cables would link to lorries driving on the inside lanes’

    No. See the pic.

    ‘Academics at the government-funded institution, who believe the system is sufficient to entirely replace the current fuel tax levied on HGVs’

    How?

    ‘The project will generate substantial revenue for HM Treasury as a result of the inherent energy efficiency and low economic costs of operating electric lorries, with findings showing that the investment could be paid back within 15 years.’

    Revenue from what? HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED TO WORK? How do you get revenue from ‘inherent energy efficiency?’

    ‘The plan, which would cost an estimated £19.3billion’

    Lorry drivers will be happy to replace their £75k vehicles for free. No need to include them in your accounting.

  34. Gamecock permalink
    July 29, 2020 10:47 pm

    Interesting. My July 28, 2020 8:01 pm post was in the ether for 22 hours, so I posted again.

  35. Derek Reynolds permalink
    July 30, 2020 10:51 am

    Colossal mistake. Both trams and trolleybuses were abandoned in London because of both their inflexibility and inability to expand into new areas, and the high cost of maintaining overhead wiring. Electric lorries. Why not steam powered?

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