First Electric Highway For Trucks Opened In Germany

Electrifying truck transportation could save a ton of fuel: 20,000 euros worth for every truck traveling 62,000 miles (100,000 km).

The German government has decided to give this a try. It has fitted overhead power lines — like the ones you only see over rail tracks — to power hybrid trucks.

A 6.2 mile (10 km) stretch of the autobahn got this upgrade, a test that could pave the way for a new carbon neutral strategy to transport goods.

It’s the first such test on a public road in Germany.

The system, first developed by German conglomerate Siemens in 2012, allows hybrid big rigs to charge their batteries while traveling at speeds of up to 56 mph (90 km/h).

The trucks run on electric motors when connected to the overhead lines, and a hybrid system when they return to a traditional road. Built-in sensors can notify the truck when to switch back to a combustion engine if there are no overhead cables available.

Siemens says its eHighway system combines the efficiency of electric rail with the flexibility of trucking. Another benefit is a sharp reduction in emissions of CO2 and nitrogen oxides.

Siemens is promising that the overhead lines can bring carbon emission reductions to other places where railways don’t make sense or aren’t possible to build.

Similar stretches of electric highways have been built in Sweden and the United States. Other solutions for charging electric vehicles while they drive include rails built into the asphalt.

Reference- CNN website, Futurism, Siemens website