Trucking is a mucky small business, so German engineers have equipped a a few-mile stretch of Autobahn with overhead electricity cables that will offer hybrid motor vehicles with a regular supply of juice as they go about their small business hauling items between Darmstadt and Frankfurt,

Vans on the eHighway (as the exam road is recognised) use pantographs like these on trams to draw electric power from the overhead cables. At the conclude of the line, sensors prompt the autos to change back again to their combustion engines.

The cables are suspended from quite a few hundred masts – even beneath bridges – and give a resource of uninterrupted electrical power. Surplus electrical energy generated although the vehicles are braking is fed back again into the system, and if a line is damaged it will shut down mechanically.

There’s even an anti-icing technique to stay away from the cables getting to be frozen and brittle in the frosty German winters. A compact exam took location past yr, but the unusually gentle weather intended the lines failed to get a extensive tests.

Haul transform, you should

The vans themselves are designed by Scania, a Swedish company owned by Volkswagen whose juggernauts rule highways all-around the globe, even though the electrical infrastructure was engineered by Siemens.

The undertaking is setting up small, with just 5 of the unique motor vehicles building visits up and down the eHighway each individual working day, but if it operates well, the cables could finally be fitted to 620 miles of Germany’s Autobahn network – and further than.

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