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Germany trials eHighway autobahn

Electric-diesel truck hybrids begin merging with regular traffic via the new electrified stretch of the autobahn between Darmstadt and Frankfurt

  • May 11, 2019 10:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Drivers navigating Autobahn 5 between Darmstadt and Frankfurt will spot newcomers on the road – electric-diesel truck hybrids will be making their daily rounds on the 5 km long newly-electrified stretch between the cities.

After months of testing, the first hybrids will merge with regular traffic in the designated area. The present experiment will continue up until the end of 2022, after which the Darmstadt technical university will assess and analyze the economic and ecological data that’s been gathered.

The project’s main goal is to substantially reduce emissions by phasing out regular trucks and replacing them with electric hybrids. To that end, the installation of overhead cables over the autobahn has been completed in order to supply the trucks with electricity – all of it generated through renewable sources.

The funding for the project comes from the German environment ministry – 15 million euro for the test phase along with 14.6 million allocated for the construction of the necessary infrastructure. If the ministry deems the experiment a success, up to 1000 kilometers of the country’s autobahn network might be outfitted with cables to support electric truck hybrids. Through them, vehicles will be able to recharge their batteries and venture deep into territories without cable support. According to a transport ministry report, 80% of German traffic might eventually become electrified – if tests prove it worthwhile.

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