Overhead-cable-powered trucks have been underestimated
Germany’s first pilot projects with overhead-cable-powered trucks were harshly criticized. But a new study has stepped into the breach for the technology, which looks like a promising option for protecting the environment in the field of freight transport.16 Mar 2020 David Schahinian
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment supported the construction and operation of three test routes, each of which is only a few kilometers long, in Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Württemberg. However, their implementation is yet to take off... The test route in Baden-Württemberg isn’t finished yet, and in Hesse there was only one single truck available for the tests.
This led to criticism of the entire project, which has been partially refuted in a study from the Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences and other research partners. According to the study, one third of all long-haul freight transport could take place using overhead cables with a route network of 4,000 km. This would result in an annual reduction in direct greenhouse gas emissions of up to 12 million tons of CO2 in long-haul freight transport. Even when considering the emissions from electricity generation, the environmental benefits remain. According to the study’s authors, trucks powered by overhead cable show the highest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in freight transport, alongside battery-powered trucks. The researchers also identified 17 routes that are particularly recommended for the construction of an overhead cable network.
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