The Autobahn in Germany isn’t just for flooring it anymore. Now a small stretch of the highway can charge electric trucks while they’re transporting goods.
The addition makes the Autobahn one of the world’s first ‘electric highways.’ This particular section has cables running above the highway that connect to trucks driving underneath. The cables carry electricity so the trucks can power up while driving.
If more highways had this capability, we could start seeing electric trucks delivering products from place to place. And unlike the kinds of electric trucks being built by companies like Tesla, with large and expensive rechargeable batteries, these trucks could get away with only small batteries for those brief moments when they’re not connected to the grid.
This ‘electric highway’ is a test that runs just over six miles along the Autobahn, from the Frankfurt Airport to the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt interchange. The section was built by German company Siemens, which has already constructed similar electric highways in Sweden and California. According to the company, these highways are twice as efficient as a standard internal-combustion engine.
It will take a lot of time and investment to build electric highways on a large-enough scale to be useful, and it’s not clear the long-term advantages are better than independent electric trucks. But perhaps in the future, these sorts of highways will be everywhere.
Via: New Atlas
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics