Norway has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative, employing a semi-electric truck equipped with a substantial 1,000 kWh battery capacity to clear heavy snow on challenging mountain passes for the first time.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration initiated the trial of the electric truck as a snow plow on the E6 highway, traversing the picturesque yet demanding Dovrefjell mountain range. Following its successful clearance of a significant snow deposit this week, authorities are optimistic about the prospects of utilizing electric vehicles (EVs) to maintain winter road conditions.
Bjørn Laksforsmo, divisional director at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, emphasized the importance of achieving climate targets by implementing emission reductions in heavy-duty road tasks. Hence, the decision to evaluate snow plowing with an electric truck on the E6 over Dovrefjell.
After a week of operation, the electric truck has demonstrated promising performance metrics. Despite enduring extended periods battling varying snow intensities, strong winds, and sub-zero temperatures, the truck's battery level only decreased from 90% to 28% after nearly nine hours of operation, consuming 182 kWh per 100 km.
The trial serves not only to assess the truck's endurance but also to evaluate its resilience in harsh weather conditions, energy consumption across different scenarios, and optimal charging strategies.
The semi-electric truck deployed on the E6 Dovrefjell route stands out as the world's first electric truck equipped with a 1,000 kWh battery. Constructed by Swiss firm Designwerk Technologies AG on a Volvo FH chassis, the truck boasts a range of 97 km (60 miles) with a 50-ton load, weighing a total of 21.6 tons.
This trial marks a significant step in Norway's broader initiative to explore the viability of electric plows for winter maintenance. Building on a previous attempt in 2021, wherein an electric wheel loader was utilized to clear pedestrian and cycle paths in Trondheim, Norway is committed to refining its electric snow plowing capabilities.
Additionally, the Swedish Road Administration is also engaged in similar endeavors, experimenting with zero-emission plowing in select regions. In Sandefjord, electric plow trucks have become a common sight, with positive outcomes reported from their implementation.