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Germany has inaugurated a stretch of highway with overhead electric cable for electric trucks to draw its juice from, while on the move. The pilot project has been inaugurated on a 10-kilometre stretch of highway between the Frankfurt airport and a nearby industrial area.
Electric trucks can raise the pantograph mounted on the roof of the truck and charge the battery while moving at speeds of up to 90km/h. It is a widely-known fact by now that electric vehicles are the future of the automotive industry and this includes trucks too.
Diesel and CNG-powered trucks use large engines and one truck causes as much pollution as a couple of cars or more. In order to avoid this, electric trucks seem like the best option. However, the immediate problem is the range of operation on one full charge.
Trucks usually cover hundreds of kilometres in a day and hence, a good range is essential. Being able to charge the trucks while they are on the move will be a great advantage. A few manufacturers including Tesla and Volvo have revealed trucks they are developing.
When these trucks make it to the roads, it seems like Germany will be ready with the best charging option. Using overhead electricity cables seems like the most convenient option of charging a moving vehicle.
For this process though, the trucks will require a pantograph. According to Hessen, the German government has even invested in the development of trucks with pantographs. The electrified that has just been inaugurated was developed by German tech giant Siemens AG.
The pantograph system will work exactly like the ones seen on electric train locomotives in India. However, in the case of electric trucks, it will charge the battery instead of directly powering the electric motor.
The one at Frankfurt is the first of such arrangements and Germany has already planned to electrify two more highways in the near future. Depending on the response to this pilot program, Germany will be building more such highways.
Thoughts On Germany Opening Its First Electrified Highway For Electric Trucks
Such a technology seems brilliant and we can almost see people wanting the Indian government to make electrified expressways here too. However, it isn't exactly practical for the Indian scenario as it would run into a lot of problems. The biggest drawback is, electric trucks will take ages to reach Indian shores.