Germany has opened the first electric highway that will connect hybrid trucks to overhead wires, allowing them to recharge while they are on move. Hybrid trucks will be able to charge themselves on this portion of the A5 highway and may drive up to 90 kilometers per hour (55 MPH) to get charged. The highway will continue to be tested through 2022.
After charging the trucks can continue to carry on in battery mode. If the vehicle’s batteries become empty, the hybrid engine with diesel takes over the drive.
The technology is the same as we are using in metro and rails. The highway, built by Munich-based engineering firm Siemens AG, uses 670-volt direct-current overhead cables that let electric trucks draw power. Volkswagen AG’s Scania trucks unit is providing hybrid vehicles as part of the project.
The vehicles don’t have to slow down when docking and undocking from the overhead charges. So it won’t create any kind of traffic, claims Siemens AG.
The project was started by Siemens in 2010 with a test track outside Berlin. The first complete track opened in 2016 outside of Stockholm. The company is also working on another track in California.