Lorries could run on overhead power lines on motorway near Doncaster in trial scheme

Lorries powered by overhead power lines like trams could run on a motorway near Doncaster after the announcement of a proposed trial scheme to make the UK’s roads greener.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 12:02 pm
Lorries powered by overhead cables could soon be running on motorways near Doncaster. (Photo: Siemens AG).
Lorries powered by overhead cables could soon be running on motorways near Doncaster. (Photo: Siemens AG).

Electric cables would be installed above a stretch of the M180 between Doncaster and Scunthorpe, allowing trucks to run like trolleybuses or trams and cut back on air pollution from diesel and petrol fumes.

The trial scheme has been proposed for a 12-mile stretch of the motorway which would receive £2million of government funding and could be operational by 2024.

It involves lorry manufacturers Scania, electrical giant Siemens and infrastructure company Costain.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The project, revealed by The Guardian, comes after the Government published its long-awaited transport decarbonisation plan earlier this month, which said new diesel and petrol lorries will be banned in Britain by 2040.

The plans, which form part of the push to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, have given lorry companies little time to develop technology to keep the industry moving.

The electric road system is one of several options that will be funded, alongside a study of hydrogen fuel cell trucks and battery electric lorries, the Department of Transport revealed.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government was 'leading the way in the transition to zero-emission vehicles by becoming the first country in the world to commit to ending the sale of all new fossil-fuelled road vehicles by 2040'.

He added: 'From Doncaster to Scotland, by working in partnership with industry this funding will allow us to better understand the role of zero-emission HGVs, whilst boosting regional economies.'

The scheme would link the major infrastructure hubs of port of Immingham and Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

William Wilson, chief executive of Siemens Mobility Limited said: “Investing in proven technologies like eHighways can help us go further and faster to decarbonise the UK’s transport network, and support jobs and growth to level up the country.

“By building on successful trials from other countries like Germany, our ERS consortium M180 trial will help the UK move a step closer to replacing more polluting trucks with clean, efficient electric HGVs.”