Siemens, Conti join forces for overhead power for trucks

August 02, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Siemens, Conti join forces for overhead power for trucks
Siemens Mobility and Continental Engineering Services (CES) will cooperate on the development and manufacture of pantographs for trucks. The so-called eHighway technology from Siemens Mobility supplies trucks with electricity via an overhead line with the goal to reduce the dependence of electric vehicles on the battery.

The cooperation aims to electrify key stretches of Germany’s autobahn network with overhead contact lines and thus in the long term reduce CO2 emissions from trucks. The partnership with Continental combines expertise from two technology worlds: Siemens Mobility is a specialist in rail electrification, Continental Engineering Services (CES) is a development and production service provider for automotive technologies. The partners intend to pool their know-how to quickly achieve series production of truck pantographs.

“Highway freight transport plays a central role in the fight against climate change. In Germany, it accounts for one-third of all the CO2 emissions in the transport sector,” says Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility. “Truck manufacturers are pursuing various concepts to reduce this burden. With its eHighway, Siemens Mobility has developed a ready-to-use technology for energy-efficient, cost-effective and emission-free truck transport that can be combined with other drive systems to become the backbone for fighting climate change in this sector”, Peter advertises.

On the eHighway, electric trucks can operate electrically and at the same time charge their batteries without using fuel, explains CES CEO Christoph Falk-Gierlinger. The company plans to apply the principle of rail electrification to the highway. The pantographs will be further developed and manufactured to meet automotive standards, he adds.

The decisive factor with the eHighway is that there is no need to electrify complete autobahns. Germany’s “National Platform for the Future of Mobility”, an innovation initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transport, recommends that 4,000 kilometers of autobahns be equipped with overhead line systems by 2030, taking into account that roughly two-thirds of the fuel consumption in long-distance truck transport occurs on the most heavily traveled 4,000 kilometers of the 13,000-kilometer autobahn network. If this network core can be electrified and trucks operating on the routes with electric drives (battery, hybrid, hydrogen) can be supplied with electricity, this would make a major contribution to climate protection.

Siemens Mobility’s eHighway is currently being

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