August 6, 2021eHighways: Power Lines Running Electric Semi-Trucks
As the world rapidly converts to green energy, we think there must be increased investment in eHighways that will run electric semi-trucks.
Are eHighways the Solution to Electric Trucking Problems?
The fight to reduce carbon emissions and preserve mother earth for the next couple million centuries continues and the transportation industry remains to be a large target.
Electric vehicles, especially electric semi-trucks seemed to be more of a fantasy rather than an actual option to help reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector mostly due to obstacles they were facing regarding efficiency.
The main problems facing the transition to an electric-powered long-haul operation seemed to be mileage per charge, charge time, and charger availability, all of which may be solved with the introduction of eHighways.
What are eHighways?
Bringing electrified railroad systems to road freight transport, Siemens Mobility Solutions is paving the road for eHighways.
The eHighway would consist of dedicated power lines which connect to a pantograph located on the top of the truck and transmit energy to the electric motor.
This would enable electric semi-trucks to travel while keeping a charge the entire time it’s connected to the powerlines.
The Highway concept is already being tested by Siemens in locations like Germany.
The UK is also investing in their transportation sector and their fight to lower carbon emissions by testing out e-highways and their aid in increasing efficiency.
What Problems Do eHighways Solve for Electric Semi-Trucks?
The eHighways would enable electric semi-trucks carrying long-haul freight to be connected to power while on the road, much like having a charger connected to your phone wherever you go.
Electric semi-trucks don’t have to look for scarcely available charging stations when they need their battery recharged which sometimes takes hours of waiting time they may not have.
Drivers would stress less about the amount of mileage they can get out of a trip before needing to stop for another charging session for their trucks.
Questions and Concerns on eHighways
The eHighways are a step in the direction of reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector but are surely not a miracle solution.
The benefit trains have in being charged by dedicated powerlines is that they have dedicated roads and paths as well. A train doesn’t have to share a road with other cars like passenger vehicles which might pose a threat to road freight trucks running on an eHighway system.
Extra traffic concerns also come up since these trucks will most likely take up one specific lane which can either help organize highway traffic or make it worse and more congested.
More questions arise such as, what happens on highways the eHighway system isn’t available on? The system most likely won’t be available on every highway and the trucks would then still need a charging system once the charge dies down and there are no eHighways available.
The battle for an electrified world of transportation is not slowing down and new developments like the eHighway systems seem to be the next golden ticket to battle electric road freight concerns and bring us to the future of trucking.
Carbon emissions are becoming too much for the world, but road freight transportation is only continuing to grow so finding ways to combat that are becoming more important than ever.
The eHighways are not a complete solution for the problems facing an electrified road freight transportation system, and some concerns remain but we still must file this one as a win.