Stalling on the German e-highway
E-highway test routes in Germany seem to be ill-fated. The first highway was hardly used and as a result highly criticized by the German Federal Audit Office, and now the launch of the second highway is facing further delays.19 Nov 2019 David Schahinian
The special hybrid trucks are to be powered by the overhead cables on three routes to test the e-highway system in real operation. In Hesse, the project was slow to get off the ground , because only one vehicle was available for several months. The “ Allgemeine Zeitung” reported that this was the subject of criticism from the German Federal Audit Office. Since 2010, the German Federal Government has spent about €107 million on the research and development of overhead-cable-powered trucks, although the investment might lead to a dead end. The costs of a large-scale development are enormous, and many prominent manufacturers have already tested electric trucks with batteries and fuel cells. If these are successful, the German state’s investments will have been wasted.
The Hamburg newspaper “Hamburger Morgenpost” fears that the second test route in Schleswig-Holstein, in Germany’s far north, will be a total flop. The launch date has been postponed several times. Currently, more than 250 masts have to be upgraded. An auditor recommended this in September, after determining there were not enough crossbeams. The third route, which is planned for Baden-Württemberg, in Germany’s south-west, is still in the tendering phase, according to firmenauto.de .
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