Continental and Siemens Mobility will use Overhead Cables to Provide Power to Trucks Across Europe

Continental Engineering Services (CES), Continental’s development and manufacturing service provider, and Siemens Mobility will work on the development and production of current collectors for trucks, also known as pantographs.

In accordance with EU regulation 2019/1242, the goal is to electrify major sections of the highway network with an overhead line system, reducing CO2 emissions from trucks significantly. The new alliance brings together the knowledge of two technological worlds.

Continental Engineering Services is a development and production service provider for sophisticated automotive technology, while Siemens Mobility specializes in rail electrification. Both firms are now merging their resources in order to fast scale up the production of current collectors and make them widely available throughout Europe.

On heavily used stretches of roadway, the eHighway technology provides trucks with electric drives (e.g., hybrid, fuel cell, or battery-powered electric trucks) through an overhead wire. Trucks may run entirely on electricity and charge their batteries without wasting any fuel.

Siemens Mobility’s eHighway technology is already operational. It’s now just a matter of improving existing collectors, particularly for trucks, so that they may be given to commercial vehicle makers at a reasonable cost and in any desired quantity.

The eHighway’s fundamental feature is that not all highway kilometers must be electrified. The Federal Ministry of Transport’s “National Platform for the Future of Mobility,” an innovation project, advises that by 2030, 4,000 kilometers of highway be equipped with overhead cable technology. This is due to the fact that about two-thirds of the petroleum consumed by long-distance truck traffic on German motorways occurs on the busiest 4,000 kilometers of the 13,000-kilometer network. A significant and rapid contribution to climate protection can be made by electrifying the core network and delivering electricity to the trucks traveling there with electric motors.

Only about 60% of the train network is equipped with overhead cables, thus the solution with energy from the overhead line matches the rail principle. However, these are the critical parts, which means that in Germany, more than 90% of rail traffic is powered by electricity from the overhead line. When electricity is obtained from regenerative sources, electrification of German road haulage on a core network of 4,000 kilometers could reduce CO2 emissions by 10 to 12 million tonnes yearly.

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