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   제목: What if Highways Were Electric? Germany Is Testing the Idea.


What if Highways Were Electric? Germany Is Testing the Idea.

An electrified highway is theoretically the most efficient way to eliminate truck emissions. But the political obstacles are daunting.


By Jack Ewing
Aug. 3, 2021




OBER-RAMSTADT, Germany On a highway south of Frankfurt recently, Thomas Schmieder maneuvered his Scania tractor-trailer and its load of house paint into the far right lane. Then he flicked a switch you won뭪 find on most truck dashboards.

Outside the cab a contraption started to unfold from the roof, looking like a clothes-drying rack with an upside-down sled welded to the top. As Mr. Schmieder continued driving, a video display showed the metal skids rising up and pushing gently against wires running overhead.

The cab became very quiet as the diesel engine cut out and electric motors took over. The truck was still a truck, but now it was powered like many trains or street cars.

There뭩 a debate over how to make the trucking industry free of emissions, and whether batteries or hydrogen fuel cells are the best way to fire up electric motors in big vehicles. Mr. Schmieder was part of a test of a third alternative: a system that feeds electricity to trucks as they drive, using wires strung above the roadway and a pantograph mounted on the cab.



At one level the idea makes perfect sense. The system is energy efficient because it delivers power directly from the electrical grid to the motors. The technology saves weight and money because batteries tend to be heavy and expensive, and a truck using overhead wires needs only a big enough battery to get from the off-ramp to its final destination.

And the system is relatively simple. Siemens, the German electronics giant that provided the hardware for this test route, adapted equipment that has been used for decades to drive trains and urban street cars.

At another level the idea is insane. Who뭩 going to pay to string thousands of miles of high voltage electrical cable above the world뭩 major highways?

Excerpts articles from The New York Times
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