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07 May 2019, 12:33
Julian Wettengel

Germany opens first overhead electricity test track for trucks on autobahn

Clean Energy Wire

Germany's first autobahn test track for overhead power line (catenary) e-trucks. Photo: Hessen Mobil.

Germany has opened its first autobahn test track for overhead power line (catenary) e-trucks, the environment ministry (BMU) announced in a press release. After years on a non-public testing ground, five hybrid test trucks will use the five kilometre long autobahn section between Frankfurt and Darmstadt in the state of Hesse until 2022. The trucks are equipped with electric and diesel engines as well as batteries that can be quickly recharged via the overhead lines. “The inauguration of the first German e-highway in Hesse is a milestone for the decarbonisation of road freight transport in Germany,” said Roland Edel, chief technology officer at Siemens Mobility, which is involved in the project. Germany will open two more test tracks, the BMU said.

Trucks and other freight vehicles are the backbone of Germany’s export-driven economy. But rapid growth in traffic volumes is increasing pressure to reach emissions reductions in the transport sector, which already lags behind in fulfilling its climate targets. Over 95 percent of CO₂ emissions in Germany’s transport sector are caused by road traffic, with about one-third caused by long and short-distance road haulage.

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