The German state of Hesse, in partnership with Siemens, is electrifying a section of the autobahn for heavy freight vehicles, in order to reduce carbon emissions without radically altering the existing infrastructure.
By electrifying a 9km section of the autobahn, this sustainable initiative aims to reduce emissions from freight vehicles without radically altering the autobahn for other road users.
So far, the Siemens eHighway allows hybrid trucks to connect to overhead charging cables and drive on pure electricity. The vehicles then switch back to diesel power once they leave the eHighway.
The initiative could double the energy efficiency of semi-trailers, compared to when the vehicles run on gas. In addition, the highway design enables any truck to be retrofitted, as the electric conductors are constructed over existing road, integrating easily with existing infrastructure. Combined with the autonomous and electric truck designs in the works, it could make a significant dent in heavy vehicle emissions.
Global freight is expected to increase 200 percent in the next 30 years, and initiatives such as the Siemens eHighway is one way to reduce emissions without massive infrastructure changes.
Images courtesy of Siemens