The system will be used for real transport networks, and prove the practicality of climate-neutral freight transport in a region of Frankfurt
The German state of Hesse is to build a new eHighway which will supply power for the electric drive of hybrid trucks along a 10km stretch of autobahn.
German engineering company Siemens has been commissioned to build the overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on the A5 federal autobahn which runs close to Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt interchange.
It will be the first test of eHighway on a public highway in Germany as well as the first field trial of the eHighway concept which Siemens originally presented in 2012.
“Construction of the system will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating overhead contact systems with a public highway. The system will be used for real transport networks, and prove the practicality of climate-neutral freight transport in the urban region of Frankfurt,” said Gerd Riegelhuth, head of transport, Hessen Mobil.
“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,” says Roland Edel, chief technology officer of the Mobility Division.
Siemens will be responsible for the planning, construction and, as an option, maintenance of the system. The system is being built as part of the joint project “Electrified, innovative heavy freight transport on autobahns” (ELISA) of Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
The eHighway is said to be twice as efficient compared to internal combustion engines. That not only means cutting energy consumption in half, but also significantly reducing local air pollution, Siemens claims.
The core element of the system is an intelligent pantograph on the trucks combined with a hybrid drive system. Trucks equipped with the system 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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