Germany: eHighway trial for trucks begins on parts of Autoban


The first trial for overhead line hybrid trucks has begun on a 10 km stretch of the A5 between Frankfurt and Darmstadt. The eHighway system was developed with the help of Siemens. The system uses diesel hybrid trucks and is said to reduce carbon emissions.

The eHighway system aims to reduce the usage of conventional fuel by replacing it with overhead electric lines. The system can be used on frequently used routes around ports and industrial areas. The trucks are fitted with an active pantograph that will automatically rise up and down based on the position of the overhead wires. It can also be operated manually and can be raised up and down at speeds of up to 90 km/h. Apart from running on 100% electric mode, the trucks can also pass on electricity to the grid regenerated under braking. While overtaking, the trucks are powered by the hybrid drivetrain.

The first trial run was conducted on a private road near Berlin. Safety features like auto power disconnection when the cable breaks and de-icing facilities in winter have been incorporated. By mid-2020, a total of 5 trucks are expected to ply on this trial. At a later date, the authorities also expected to add two more test tracks in Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Württemberg. The eHighway system is already in use in Sweden and the USA.

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