First Field Test for Hybrid Trucks in Hesse
Every year, trucks transport around 3.6 billion tons of goods on German roads. This is 900 times larger than the largest container ship in the world or the equivalent to bottling the contents of Lake Starnberg. This growing freight traffic on the road is an increasing contributing factor to environmental pollution. Indeed, as early as 2012, the Environment Council recommended that the Federal Government test the introduction of an overhead line system for freight transport by road.
The states of Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein are now making a start. By the end of the year, the first electrified lines with a length of approximately 5 km in both directions of travel are targeted to be in place in Hesse. Here, a consortium led by Hessen Mobil, in cooperation with the Technical University of Darmstadt, selected the A5 between Frankfurt Airport and Weiterstadt. This section connects Frankfurt am Main and Darmstadt city centres and is part of an important north-south connection for freight traffic. A second test track will be built on the A1 between Lübeck and Reinfeld.
In Hesse, the e-highway planned by Hessen Mobil is being implemented by Siemens. The Federal Environment Ministry is funding the project with 14.6 million euros. Siemens commissioned CDM Smith to carry out the ground investigations for the installation of the masts to hold the overhead lines. Without stopping traffic, our experts supervised the core drilling and dynamic probing down to a depth of 13 m.
Work is currently in full swing – the northern masts are already almost completely in place with the first contact wire to be tensioned in July. Eight masts have also been installed to the south. The first hybrid trucks are scheduled to run over the test track at the end of 2018.
Impressions of the e-highway
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The e-highway is a promising alternative to trucks with internal combustion engines and an important step towards energy efficiency in freight transport.