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Where are the electricity trucks ?: Three months of electric highway


TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates

Langen (dpa) - Many a motorist is on the highway 5 in southern Hesse certainly a mystery. Whimsical at first glance on the outer roads overhead lines as in the rail traffic.

The explanation is not very bizarre: hybrid trucks with pantographs should recharge their batteries in order to bring their goods to their destination more environmentally friendly. However, three months after the start of the official field trial, such a truck is rarely seen.

So far, according to the project-managing traffic authority Hessen mobile only a hybrid truck with pantograph on the way. The vehicle is on the track once or twice a day, says spokeswoman Frauke Werner, announcing: "The second truck is scheduled to arrive in the fall." The third is planned for the beginning of next year.

By 2022, a total of five of these vehicles, developed by the commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania, from five different freight forwarders are to participate in this test. "Valide data and findings do not exist yet," says Werner. The project was designed for four years, after three months you could not account for anything. "This is a pilot project that takes place on the road and not in the laboratory." In addition, the truck had also been routinely times in the workshop. A first interim evaluation may be expected in the middle of next year.

"The driver is totally satisfied," says the managing director of Spedition Schanz, Kerstin Seibert, about the trucker's experience. Above all, he was thrilled that it is so quiet with the electric drive. "The way is the right one", she is convinced. The company from Ober-Ramstadt got the first truck for the test.

The starting signal for the first German E-Highway was fired in early May on the busy A 5 between Langen and Weiterstadt. The pilot project will check whether the overhead line technology is suitable for Germany and whether it can be used to transport goods on the road in a climate-friendly and noise-saving way. In Baden-Wuerttemberg and Schleswig-Holstein there will be more field tests. For the three tests, the VW subsidiary Scania builds a total of 15 of the hybrid trucks.

The principle is simple: If a truck with a pantograph in the area of ​​the route, he docks. By recharging while driving the batteries should be charged. Then the truck can continue driving in E-mode. If the batteries are empty, the hybrid engine with diesel takes over the drive again.

With the project Elisa - that is the short form for electrified, innovative heavy traffic on highways - now all data are to be collected, which could be relevant for a later development of the system in Germany. The makers do not see it as a competition for freight transport by rail.

According to Hessen Mobil, the effects on traffic, ecological and economic aspects or even the extra work for the road maintenance authorities should be investigated. Also, the question of who later pays the tapped power is still unclear.

The Federal Environment Ministry has financed the five-kilometer-long route between Langen and Weiterstadt with just under 14.6 million euros. Another 15 million euros will then flow into data collections and evaluations. If the system proves to be suitable, not all highways would have to be fully electrified. According to estimates by the Ministry, around 1000 kilometers would be affected in Germany. The cost: around one million euros per kilometer.

Scania competitor Daimler uses instead of the overhead line technology on purely battery-powered vehicles. The company is working on future solutions that have a high probability of implementation worldwide, it says on the homepage of the car manufacturer. "At the moment, the company does not see it in the overhead line due to its high infrastructure costs - also in view of the rapid development of battery and fuel cell technology." However, Daimler wants to make a direct comparison between its electric trucks and the hybrid systems on the planned overhead line in Baden-Württemberg. Make trolley vehicles.

E-truck from Daimler

Hesse Mobile to Elisa

Federal Environment Ministry to Elisa

Source: zeit

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