In a big step forward in the fight to tackle climate change, the German government has announced a new 10km electric highway for trucks.
Rabat – Using special equipment on the roof, trucks connect to a system of overhead electric wires to allow them to travel at up to 90 kilometers an hour. The new road will link Frankfurt airport and a nearby industrial park on a stretch of the “autobahn,” Germany’s access highway system.
Costing the German government €70 million, the trucks use electric motors when connected to the overhead lines, and a hybrid system when on traditional roads.
The highway became operational on Tuesday, May 7 and was developed by German giant Siemens, Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company. According to Siemens, the new e-Highway system “combines the efficiency of electrified railroads with the flexibility of trucks.”
Although tests have been carried out on a smaller scale in both Sweden and the US, this is the first fully-operational large-scale e-Highway in the world.
Not only is the new system an economical alternative to diesel-fuelled trucks, but it also reduces the use of fossil fuels as well as eliminating local emissions such as CO2 and nitrogen oxides. According to the International Transport Forum (ITF), road transportation of goods will contribute approximately 15% towards the total predicted an increase in global CO2 emissions until the year 2050.
The e-Highway project could be the first step in the solution to revolutionize the goods transportation system across Germany as well as internationally.