Siemens Mobility and SPL Powerlines completed the third eHighway system in Germany for trucks powered via an overhead contact line.
One year after construction started, the electrified section at Germany’s B 462 federal highway between Kuppenheim and Gaggenau entered a three-year test phase. 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.
The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is funding the eWayBW project in Baden-Württemberg with EUR 26.8 million euros. The entire endeavor is worth EUR 28 million and the state is providing the remainder.
Model for climate-friendly freight transportation
“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,” said Siemens Mobility’s head of eHighway Hasso Grünjes.
The company’s technology is being tested in two other public field trials in Germany since 2019, but the project in Murg valley is the first one on a federal highway with tight curves and bridges. Five vehicles will be used on regular trial runs in both directions along the 3.4-kilometer route.
The test involves fully electric, hybrid and hydrogen-fueled trucks.
Germany should equip 4,000 kilometers of autobahns by 2030
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 2023 goal for overhead contact lines is 300 kilometers
The National Platform for the Future of Mobility (NPM) recommends equipping 300 kilometers of autobahns in Germany with overhead contact lines by 2023 and electrifying a total of 4,000 kilometers by 2030 to help the country reach its climate target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by 40%.
Federal government earmarked EUR 103 million for first eHighways
The road was chosen particularly because paper producers use it for hauling 510,000 tonnes of material per year. With modern technology, freight traffic is becoming more climate-friendly, the environment ministry said.
Eight German companies participate in the project on a nonprofit basis alongside Siemens Mobility, SPL Powerlines Germany and scientific institutions. BMU is supporting the three trials with a total of EUR 103 million.