Foreign countries also interested in e-highway test track

Photo by Ãmit YıldırımTest operations for the Schleswig-Holstein E-Highway have been underway on Highway 1 between Reinfeld and Lübeck since the end of 2019. Four trucks equipped with pantographs belonging to a Reinfeld freight forwarder are now commuting along the five-kilometer test route. The results so far have been largely positive, said a spokeswoman for the Research and Development Center at Kiel University of Applied Sciences, which is providing scientific support for the "Field Test E-Highway Schleswig-Holstein (FESH)".

According to the data, the first truck in the state, named "El Lennon," covered about 6,000 kilometers under the overhead line in 2021, drawing about 4,200 kilowatt hours for the electric drive and charging of the vehicle batteries, the spokeswoman said. A final assessment will reportedly be made after the field trial is completed at the end of 2022.

Of the 6,000 kilometers each under the overhead line, the trucks cover about 3,900 kilometers with the pantograph attached. "The difference mainly comes from the fact that the vehicle can only raise its pantograph below the overhead line and has to retract it in time at the end of the route," the spokeswoman said.

The section in Schleswig-Holstein is one of three test routes nationwide to investigate the suitability of an overhead line system for the electrification of heavy commercial vehicles in real traffic. The other test sections are in Hesse and Baden-Württemberg. The cost of 19 million euros is being borne by the German Environment Ministry.

"All trolleybuses have data loggers that record values such as speed and power consumption," the spokeswoman explained. In Schleswig-Holstein in particular, data on the effects on the climate, air quality, noise protection, resource consumption and nature conservation are also being studied. Possible grid repercussions from the substations and the wind downforce of the chain suspensions would also be investigated. "However, it is still too early for an overall ecological assessment," she said.

The field trial is also being closely watched internationally. "In the United Kingdom, there are plans for a 30-kilometer test track for trolley trucks based on the German model," said a spokesman for the federal government's Autobahn GmbH. The technology is also being closely followed in Austria, he added. There has already been an intensive exchange with delegations from France, Italy, Hungary and India, the spokesman said.



Photo by Ãmit Yıldırım

 


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