Germany opens first overhead electricity test track for trucks on autobahn

Posted: May 7, 2019 by oldbrew in Emissions, innovation, Travel
Tags: ,

E-truck test route [image credit:]

Back to the future? This is the truck equivalent of the trolleybuses that operated in some UK cities until the 1960s, and are still in use in a few other countries – except that these trucks do still have engines. Another expensive and over-engineered attempt to make a tiny reduction in trace gases in the atmosphere, in pursuit of futile ‘climate targets’ and to fool the public that such things matter.

Germany has opened its first autobahn test track for overhead power line (catenary) e-trucks, the environment ministry (BMU) announced in a press release [which says: ‘The Federal Environment Ministry has funded the construction of the plant with 14.6 million euros. For the field trial in Hesse, which runs until the end of 2022, a further 15.3 million is available’].

After years on a non-public testing ground, five hybrid test trucks will use the five kilometre long autobahn section between Frankfurt and Darmstadt in the state of Hesse until 2022, reports Clean Energy Wire.

The trucks are equipped with electric and diesel engines as well as batteries that can be quickly recharged via the overhead lines.

“The inauguration of the first German e-highway in Hesse is a milestone for the decarbonisation of road freight transport in Germany,” said Roland Edel, chief technology officer at Siemens Mobility, which is involved in the project. Germany will open two more test tracks, the BMU said.

Trucks and other freight vehicles are the backbone of Germany’s export-driven economy.

But rapid growth in traffic volumes is increasing pressure to reach emissions reductions in the transport sector, which already lags behind in fulfilling its climate targets.

Over 95 percent of CO₂ emissions in Germany’s transport sector are caused by road traffic, with about one-third caused by long and short-distance road haulage.

Source: Clean Energy Wire.

  1. ivan says:

    It will be fun when the wind stops blowing, all the trucks come to a crashing halt and the drivers have to start the diesel engines assuming they actually have diesel in the tanks.

    A very expensive gimmick that allows Germany to do more virtue signalling.

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    I was sad to see the demise of trolley buses, they always had a certain something about them.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Electric buses are not what they were cracked up to be. More buses needed to run the same service due to recharge time.

    So far, it looks like BEBs struggle when it’s too cold (below freezing) or too hot, and on routes with hills.
    . . .
    On heavy-duty buses, the range has not been enough. Albuquerque provides one example: It found its BYD buses’ range to be only 177 miles on one charge, compared with a contractual promise of 275, and this was not enough to run a full day’s service.

  4. Rob says:

    What no overtaking.

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    old brew:

    Trolley buses would be better. A battery big enough to drive the bus 5 miles or so, and stationary overhead charging at each bus stop. Saves considerably on weight and the restrictions of overhead wires.
    Of course in the new World Order busses will be pulled by horses (until the animal rights mob objet).

  6. JB says:

    Looks like 2 didn’t make it…

  7. oldbrew says:

    The global frontier of public-transit innovation in Western Europe is cautious about adopting BEBs [Battery-Electric Buses] and prefers a hybrid form of trolleybuses and battery-electric technology called in-motion charging, or IMC. Some Swiss cities are adding trolley wire at low cost while using IMC to extend the range of their existing trolleybuses several miles beyond the wire.
    – – –
    a milestone for the decarbonisation of road freight transport in Germany

    But they still have diesel engines, and the electric power is partly from coal-powered generation of electricity. So more than a hint of mind games there.
    – – –
    Rob says: What no overtaking.

    They have diesel engines and battery power, so the overhead lines are for recharging.

  8. Russ Wood says:

    A large open-cast mine in South Africa used to (and maybe still does) have its ENORMOUS dump trucks with catenary arms to use the national grid’s electricity for the loooong climb out of the bottom of the pit. Mind you, then SA had cheap electricity, and actually had reliable electricity too!

  9. oldbrew says:

    Carry less of that heavy fuel…

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    I wonder how they will meter the cost and bill for it? What happens if I show up with my truck (and no meter) and do a quick charge, then plug it in at home for free power to the house?

    BTW, at present effectively 100% of ships, buses, trucks and most trains in America (and many other countries) are all DIESEL. There are a few places with some natural gas buses and a growing trend to natural gas trucking, but penetration is still very low.

    Now many of these fleets have fleet lifetimes measured in decades. The capacity to produce replacements is sized accordingly (so a 20 year replacement cycle means they manufacture 1/20 of the fleet capacity / year).

    Now the Rabid Greens are saying we need to stop all that Diesel in under a decade. Do the math…

    From where will we get the FACTORIES to make that fleet that fast? The ship yards and the locomotive shops?

    It simply is not possible. Period.

    We can’t make enough steel, rubber and glass, tools and tooling shops, miles of copper wires, etc. etc. that fast. AND, trying to do so would use a lot MORE of our existing Diesel transports to do it and so would make MORE CO2 not less. We can’t make the tooling and the fabrication facilities (steel mills, aluminum smelters and mills) needed to make the factories that fast either, nor can we make the mining equipment and open new mines fast enough. We can’t triple the mining and refining and manufacturing facilities in just a few years, which would be needed to make that many replacement vehicles in a dozen to fifteen years. Nor the necessary increase in electricity capacity to supply all those new megafactories.

    The logistics limits and nightmare stretch all the way from the dirt in the ground to the display rooms and delivery systems.

    Maybe, in 20 to 30 years you could get a 80% changeover. Maybe.

    But tell me too, who is going to compensate the Cruise ship owners and the freight haulers and the long haul truckers for the 10 to 30 years of “service life” that is sunk cost in their vehicles today so they can buy that new replacement (IF we could build them that fast…) in the next couple of years?

  11. oldbrew says:

    It’s a fair bet there won’t be enough batteries either.

  12. @E.M.Smith, you are being far to technical, factual and logical to argue with any green believer!

  13. oldbrew says:

    Is Germany’s wind power boom over?

    Of the 7,700 new kilometers of transmission lines needed, only 8% have been built, while large-scale electricity storage remains inefficient and expensive. “A large part of the energy used is lost,” the reporters note of a much-hyped hydrogen gas project, “and the efficiency is below 40%… No viable business model can be developed from this.”

    Meanwhile, the 20-year subsidies granted to wind, solar, and biogas since 2000 will start coming to an end next year. “The wind power boom is over,” Der Spiegel concludes.

  14. oldbrew says:

    Germany installs overhead contact lines for E-trucks on the Autobahn
    [short video]

  15. Reblogged this on Climate- Science and commented:
    Dumm und dümmer

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