The German Federal Ministry for the Environment has approved a subsidised pilot project to conduct research and development on the electrification of long-haul trucks.
The electricity supply for the heavy goods vehicles is provided by means of a pantograph from an overhead power line. Siemens is responsible for developing the pantograph while Volkswagen Research is providing the required hybrid trucks via the Group’s Swedish subsidiary Scania. Trial operations will be conducted jointly as from early 2019.
In Germany alone, heavy goods traffic results in CO2 emissions of 56 million tonnes per year. The extent to which electrification of routes for HGVs can bring about a reduction is to be determined within the scope of this project.
Both Siemens and Scania are already conducting trials on the supply of electrical energy for goods traffic.
Dr Axel Heinrich, Head of Group Research at Volkswagen AG commented as follows: “We are expecting the project to produce some useful findings on the potential for saving CO2 emissions through electrification and on the required energy demand of the trucks. These findings will then form input for the development of future generations of electric drives and the associated energy management.”
Roland Edel, Chief Technology Officer of the Mobility Division at Siemens, said: "The eHighway system is an economical and sustainable option for decarbonizing road transport. The field trials in Germany are an important step on the way toward realizing these systems. Along with the electrical drive components, the smart pantograph is the key part of the system: It connects the truck to the infrastructure along the highway. An efficiency of more than 80 percent is made possible by the efficient conductive energy transmission to the truck.”
Claes Erixon, Executive Vice President Research and Development, at Scania, said: “For long-haulage transportation, Scania sees electric highways as one promising technology for a sustainable transport future. Vehicle electrification is developing quickly and with its environmental, social and cost benefits, it will play an important role in the shift to a fossil-free transport system”