The first E-highway for trucks has opened on Germany’s A5 motorway on the stretch between Weiterstadt and Langen/Mörfelden in the German state of Hesse
The project is a joint programme of the Technical University of the city of Darmstadt, Siemens Mobility and ENTEGA AG, and is coordinated by Hessen Mobil.
Around €14.6M has so far been made available for the tests by the Federal Ministry for Transport and a further €15.3M will be spent to the end of the trials in 2020. The tests concern five hybrid trucks equipped with diesel engines and electric motors powered by batteries, which will be recharged by an electric overhead cable system.
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety, explained. "Electric powered trucks are a particularly efficient solution on the road for climate neutral freight transport. We have tested them for several years on private roads…Further motorway tests will take place in Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Württemberg." In total the Ministry has provided €70M for this type of truck.
While the truck is connected to the overhead catenary its electric motore is powered off the grid and at the same time the batteries are recharged, to provide electric autonomy on conventional roads, with the diesel engine being the third source of power that would be used for the "last mile" if and when the batteries are run down. Siemens Mobility is also involved in the world’s first E-highway project, in Stockholm, Sweden.