An electric road system or big batteries: Implications for UK road freight

Christopher de Saxe, Daniel Ainalis, John Miles, Philip Greening, Adam Gripton, Christopher Thorne, David Cebon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
114 Downloads (Pure)


An Electric Road System (ERS)—comprising a network of overhead cables to charge Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) via a pantograph pick-up—is a cost-competitive solution to rapidly decarbonise the UK road freight sector. A major benefit over conventional battery electric HGVs is the reduction in battery capacities needed to fulfil logistics needs. In this study, we develop a detailed vehicle simulation model and use it to calculate the battery capacity requirements of real UK logistics journeys against a range of ERS network sizes and on-route static charging options. The results show that, averaged over all static charging scenarios, ERS reduces battery sizes by 41 %, 62 %, and 75 % for the ‘Light’ (2,750 km), ‘Medium’ (5,500 km) and ‘Heavy’ (8,500 km) ERS scenarios. Of the static charging scenarios, drop-off charging is shown to be more effective than rest stop charging at reducing battery sizes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100210
JournalTransportation Engineering
Early online date24 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Battery electric vehicles
  • Charging infrastructure
  • Electric road systems
  • Heavy goods vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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