Germany is publically trialling a 6-mile section of the A5 highway with overhead electrified cabling. The technology, developed by Siemens Mobility, has been on private trial for some time, but is now proving itself on public roads until the trial’s end in 2022.
The Siemens-developed eHighway will use overhead cables to charge the batteries of a specially-developed range of Scania trucks, equipped with conductor rods, or “pantographs”. These carry 670 volts of DC power, however, this is only enough power to push the truck to approximately 56 miles-per-hour on battery-power alone.
The hybrid-powered trucks for the project have been built by VW-subsidiary Scania.
Siemens’ eHighway technology has already been trialed and demonstrated in Sweden and California, with the latter recognised as the first to build underground rails into a road surface that can charge an electric vehicle.
The section of road links Frankfurt airport to a nearby industrial park, with plans to trial the technology on two other stretches of Germany’s “autobahn” in the near future.
Siemens says the model can easily be integrated with existing infrastrucuture, and will reduce both emissions and energy consumption, meaning and truck operator may be able to save as much as €20,000 on fuel over 62,000 miles travelled.