Aug 22, 2020

Germany: A5 Autobahn Gets Catenary Overhead Lines For xEV Trucks

Posted by in category: transportation

Electrification of transport has many faces and the automotive industry is exploring various paths to increase the share of electric miles in long-distance travel, but not necessarily by switching to full BEVs with huge batteries.

This summer, a new 5 km (3.1 mi) e-highway test track with catenary overhead lines (in both directions) entered service on the A5 Autobahn in Hessen, near Frankfurt in Germany. It’s part of a three-stage project announced in 2018.

The idea is to use a power supply, kind of like in the case of trains or trams, to drive on the highway using electricity, and then to switch to battery power or internal combustion engine for the final miles. That’s the theory. The major obstacle is the cost of €2 million per km (in both directions) — according to a report from Sweden (see video below) — and further costs of maintenance of the new infrastructure. Another thing is that it does not look too attractive.

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