An E-Highway project, with hybrid trucks powered via overhead lines saw a 5km test track went into operation on the A5 between Langen/Mörfelden and Weiterstadt, south of Frankfurt, reported the Hessenschau.
The project, called Elisa (electrified, innovative heavy traffic on the Autobahn) is being tested in real traffic by five logistics companies with hybrid, battery-powered trucks on one of the busiest stretches of Autobahn in Germany.
A hybrid electric truck is a form of truck that uses hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technology instead of using only a combustion engine. The specially designed trucks can be charged as they drive beneath the installed overhead wires.
The aim is to collect and analyze data that could result in the project being rolled out in other parts of the country. However, at a whopping €14.6million, the project, being funded by the government's Environment Ministry, isn't cheap.
The technology is intended to help reduce the pollution of heavy goods vehicles, with the test set to run until the end of 2022.
Will the e-highway affect other traffic?
The power feed on the 5km overhead lines is installed in both directions of travel (towards Frankfurt in one direction and Darmstadt in the other) and has been tested over the last five months. However, now it’s ready for more frequent use, according to project managers.