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The UK government is funding plans for an e-highway on which electric lorries would be powered by overhead cables.

£2 million will go towards the study and design of the system, with the e-highway potentially in action as soon as 2024 on the M180 near Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, if the designs are approved and the building work funded.

Led by construction company Costain, the study will also involve academics from the Centre of Sustainable Road Freight (CSRF), a shared venture between the universities of Cambridge and Heriot-Watt.

Lorries would be rigged with pantographs, roof-mounted apparatus of a kind also used by trams and trains, with a smaller battery for power coming onto and off the motorway.

HGVs on the motorway

In theory, according to the CSRF, a system of electric roads could cover and allow electric lorries to reach most of the UK by 2030, with a cost of £19 billion paying for itself within 15 years.

The Department of Transport is also funding studies of hydrogen fuel cell trucks and battery electric lorries, all attempts to decarbonise road freight and achieve the country’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Diesel and petrol lorries will be banned in Britain by 2040, making the development of new, commercially viable technology a priority in a short space of time.

Source: The Guardian

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