Siemens is to build the first overhead line for electric trucks on a German autobahn.
The State of Hesse has commissioned the trial eHighway to see if it can significantly improve the sustainability of freight transport in a real-world environment.
Stretching for around 10 kilometres, the contact powerlines are expected to double the efficiency of transport compared to internal combustion engines, slashing emissions, costs and local air pollution.
Siemens says trucks equipped with the system are completely emission-free when using electricity from the overhead line and automatically switch back to a hybrid engine when they are back onto normal roads.
Gerd Riegelhuth, Head of Transport of Hessen Mobil, said: “Construction of the system will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating overhead contact systems with a public highway.
“The system will be used for real transport networks and prove the practicality of climate-neutral freight transport in the urban region of Frankfurt.”
The eHighway is being built as part of a wider project to support innovation and introduce electrified solutions in the heavy freight transport sector across the country’s motorways.
The system, which was originally devised in 2012 and has been previously tested in Sweden, is expected to go into operation by the end of 2018.