Germany is trialling a brand new freeway that makes use of overhead electrified cabling to recharge the batteries in hybrid automobiles as they drive, studies Business Insider. The Siemens-developed eHighway is designed to work with a customized Scania hybrid truck developed by VW Group. Germany’s pilot of the expertise is presently operational on a six-mile stretch of autobahn close to Frankfurt and is about to run till 2022, after which it may very well be expanded extra broadly throughout the nation.
The eHighway works by delivering 670 volts of DC energy to a truck’s “pantographs” or conductor rods. The system solely works at speeds of lower than 56 mph, however whereas in use it implies that the hybrid car can run totally on its electrical motor whereas concurrently charging its battery. On the finish of the electrified phase of highway the truck can proceed to attract from its batteries, switching to its diesel engine once they’re absolutely depleted.
This isn’t the primary time we’ve seen an organization try to dynamically cost an electrical car whereas it’s being pushed. Siemens’ eHighway expertise has already been trialed and demonstrated in Sweden and California respectively and Sweden has additionally put in underground rails on one highway that may recharge automobiles. Trolleybuses, buses that cost from related overhead cables, are additionally nonetheless utilized in lots of of cities around the globe.
Siemens claims that its eHighways can save a 40-ton truck €20,000 in gasoline prices over 100,000 km of driving. Nevertheless, within the long-term, absolutely electrical vehicles such because the Tesla Semi may theoretically save much more by going absolutely electrical. Additionally they wouldn’t have to stay to particular electrified lanes on particular highways which can be outfitted with ugly overhead energy traces. The one downside, as with all electrical automobiles, is getting sufficient vary.