Germany starts third eHighway field trial

Germany starts third eHighway field trial

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Germany has started its third eHighway trial with electric trucks powered by overhead lies.

The eHighway system on the B 462 federal highway between Kuppenheim and Gaggenau has been successfully completed by the consortium of Siemens Mobility and SPL Powerlines Germany. The eHighway technology provided by Siemens Mobility supplies trucks with electricity, via an overhead contact line, that is used to directly power the truck and charge its batteries.

Germany has been testing electric trucks powered by overhead lines since 2016.

“The overhead contact line, which has proven itself on highway pilots, can serve as the backbone of climate-friendly freight transport on the road. Functioning as a dynamic charging infrastructure, the eHighway system supports various electric drive technologies and supplements stationary charging. The new system installed on the Murg Valley highway is an important milestone for proving the operational maturity of the system and for gaining further practical experience prior to a broader system roll-out,” said Hasso Grünjes, Head of eHighway at Siemens Mobility. 

The highway system in the Murg Valley, known as the “eWayBW”, makes it possible to test the overhead contact line technology for the first time on a federal highway with tight curves and bridges. Five trucks will be used on regular test runs in both directions along the 3.4km route. 

Siemens Mobility’s eHighway technology is currently being tested in three public field trials in Germany. In addition to the new system installed on the B 462 federal highway, pilot projects are running on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim/Cargo City South junction at the Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt junction, and on the A1 federal autobahn between the Reinfeld junction and Lübeck interchange.

The eWayBW field test, like the other two pilots in Germany, is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. In addition, the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure supports the scaling of overhead contact lines for long-distance traffic in so-called innovation clusters.

The National Platform for the Future of Mobility (NPM) recommends equipping 300km of autobahns in Germany with overhead contact lines by 2023 and electrifying a total of 4,000km by 2030.

Other electric truck schemes in Europe include Sweden with a stretch of inductive road to provide power from underneath rather than overhead.

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