Germany is starting its first electric highway for trucks

by SpeedLux
Berlin, Germany

Trucks are guzzling ever more diesel, contaminating towns and cities and fueling climate change. Germany believes it may have discovered the solution by using overhead lines to power big rigs.

A system that permits trucks to draw electric power from overhead cables went into operation on 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the autobahn on Tuesday, as per the German government.

It’s the first such test on a public road in the country.

Developed by Siemens (SIEGY), the system permits big rigs with special equipment mounted on their roofs to link to electrified lines while traveling at a velocity of up to 90 kilometers per hour (56 miles per hour).

The trucks run on electric motors when linked to the overhead lines, and a hybrid system when they return to a standard road. Sensors detect when the overhead wires are available.

Siemens says its eHighway system combines the performance of electric rail with the flexibility of trucking. Another advantage is a sharp decrease in emissions of CO2 and nitrogen oxides.

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