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Siemens Mobility and Continental Engineering Services (CES) will cooperate in the future on the development and manufacture of pantographs for trucks. The eHighway technology from Siemens Mobility supplies trucks with electricity via an overhead line. The cooperation aims to electrify key stretches of highway-networks in Germany’s autobahn network with overhead contact lines and thus significantly reduce CO 2 emissions from trucks. The new partnership combines expertise from two technology worlds: Siemens Mobility is a specialist in rail electrification, Continental Engineering Services is a development and production service provider for automotive technologies. The two companies will now pool their know-how to quickly achieve series production of truck pantographs.
“Highway freight transport plays a central role in the fight against climate change. In Germany, it accounts for one-third of all the CO 2 emissions in the transport sector. Truck manufacturers are pursuing various concepts to reduce this burden. With its eHighway, Siemens Mobility has already developed a ready-to-use technology for energy-efficient, cost-effective and emission-free truck transport that can be combined with other drive systems to become the backbone for fighting climate change in this sector,” says Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility.
On the eHighway, trucks can operate completely electrically and at the same time charge their batteries without using fuel. “At CES, we’re applying the principle of rail electrification to the highway. The pantographs will be further developed and manufactured to meet automotive standards. The partnership between Siemens Mobility and Continental Engineering Services marks a major step toward achieving climate-neutral freight transport,” explains Dr. Christoph Falk-Gierlinger, CEO of CES.
The decisive factor with the eHighway is that there´s no need to electrify complete autobahns. The “National Platform for the Future of Mobility”, an innovation initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transport, recommends that 4,000 kilometers of autobahns be equipped with overhead line systems by 2030, taking into account that roughly two-thirds of the fuel consumption in long-distance truck transport occurs on the most heavily traveled 4,000 kilometers of the 13,000-kilometer autobahn network. If this network core can be electrified and trucks operating on the routes with electric drives (battery, hybrid, hydrogen) can be easily supplied with electricity, this would make a major contribution to climate protection.
Siemens Mobility’s eHighway is currently being tested on three public routes in Germany: on the A5 autobahn in the state of Hesse between the Zeppelinheim/Cargo City Süd junction at Frankfurt Airport and Darmstadt/Weiterstadt; in the state of Schleswig-Holstein on the A1 autobahn between the Reinfeld and Lübeck junctions; and on the B462 federal highway in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg between Kuppenheim and Gaggenau. The eHighway field tests are funded by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure supports the scaling of overhead lines for long-distance transport in so-called innovation clusters and intends to initiate large pilot systems by 2023. Siemens Mobility and CES plan to make the overhead contact line system for trucks available throughout Europe.