Germany is joining the ranks of those countries betting on “electric highways” to foster eco-friendly trucking.
The Siemens-developed eHighway is designed to work with a custom Scania hybrid truck developed by VW Group.
The eHighway works by delivering 670 volts of DC power to a truck’s “pantographs” or conductor rods. The system only works at speeds of less than 56 mph, but while in use it means that the hybrid vehicle can run entirely on its electric motor while simultaneously charging its battery. At the end of the electrified segment of road the truck can continue to draw from its batteries, switching to its diesel engine when they’re fully depleted.
his is the first-of-its-kind test on a public road in Germany and has become operational in Hesse, between Weiterstadt and Langen/Morfelden, and by mid-2020 the authorities plan to five such trucks on this route.
Rita Schwarzeluhr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), commented, “Electrified overhead line trucks are a particularly efficient solution on the way to climate-neutral freight transport. We’ve tested the system for many years on private test routes. We’re now inaugurating practical tests on the A5 autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, and two further test stretches will follow in the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Wurttemberg.”