Siemens is currently testing its eHighway of the Future concept in Germany - where commercial vehicles retro-fitted with a diesel/electric power train receive electric power from overhead cables via a new pantograph system
Heavy goods vehicles have been fitted with a brand new pantograph system with an intelligent control system that can either automatically connect to an overhead wire
Installed above the driver's cabin, the system is said to detect the relative position of the overhead contact wire to the pantograph and counterbalances any lateral movements of the truck via active horizontal adjustment
Based on proven railway and tram technology, Siemens has developed a new pantograph that can automatically raise to meet overhead cables and transfer electric power to hybrid diesel/electric power trains
The pantograph can be controlled automatically or by the driver
When traveling under eHighway electric power, the vehicle is driven by the electric motor only
With most major auto manufacturers now actively developing electric vehicles, the drive towards a zero emission personal electric transportation future seems very much on the horizon. Road pollution doesn't just come from cars of course, freight vehicles are also major players in choking our highways and byways. Siemens is currently testing a possible solution in Germany that's based on proven railway and tram technology but has been adapted for trucks on roads. Heavy goods vehicles have been fitted with a newly-developed pantograph that can automatically raise to meet overhead cables and transfer electric power to hybrid diesel/electric power trains. Energy recovered from regenerative braking can also be fed back into the system for re-use by other vehicles.
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