Siemens to build ‘electric highway’ in Germany

The German state of Hesse is to build a 10km-long highway with overhead power lines that trucks can connect to at speed with a pantograph.

Siemens Mobility are to develop the line to supply electricity to hybrid trucks, which will then be able to operate twice as efficiently as they would when running on petrol or diesel.

The company said that a 40-tonne truck running for 100,000km on an eHighway would realise €20,000 in reduced fuel costs.
Siemens mobility e-highway graphic
Roland Edel, chief technology officer with Siemens’ Mobility Division, said: “With the eHighway, we’ve created an economically viable solution for climate-neutral freight transport by road. Our technology is an already existing and feasible alternative to trucks operating with internal combustion engines.”

The system will be installed on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim interchange at Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstad interchange.

Siemens says the key innovation is the “intelligent” pantograph, which allows the trucks to connect to the catenary system while travelling at 90km/h. The eHighway is predicted to be twice as efficient compared to internal combustion engines with energy consumption cut in half and a significant reduction in local air pollution. 

Trucks equipped with the pantograph system can operate locally emission-free with electricity from the overhead line and automatically switch to a hybrid engine on roads without overhead lines.



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