Siemens builds eHighway in Germany

Siemens has been commissioned by the German state of Hesse to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a ten-kilometer stretch of autobahn.

Der eHighway ist eine zuverlässige und umweltschonende Alternative zum herkömmlichen Lkw-Transport. Er versorgt Lkw über eine Oberleitung mit Strom. Das sorgt nicht nur für eine Halbierung des Energieverbrauchs sondern auch für eine Verringerung der lokalen Luftverschmutzung. Im Vergleich zu Verbrennungsmotoren ist die Technologie damit doppelt so effizient.eHighway is a reliable and environmentally friendly alternative to standard truck transport that supplies trucks with power from an overhead contact line. This means that not only is energy consumption cut by half, but local air pollution is reduced too, making the technology twice as efficient as internal combustion engines.

Siemens has been commissioned by the German state of Hesse to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a ten-kilometer stretch of autobahn. The line will supply electricity for the electric drive of a hybrid truck. Siemens originally presented its innovative ‘eHighway’ concept in 2012. The system will be installed on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim/Cargo City Süd interchange at the Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt interchange.

With this field trial, the eHighway will be tested on a public highway in Germany for the first time. 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). Hessen Mobil, responsible for road and transport management in Hesse, is managing the project.

The eHighway is twice as efficient compared to internal combustion engines. That not only means cutting energy consumption in half, but also significantly reducing local air pollution. 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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