Hitting the Brakes or the Accelerator on Electrified Semitrucks

An electric truck using overhead contact lines on Germany's autobahn (photo courtesy: Siemens)

Siemens Mobility built an overhead contact line for electric trucks on a 6.2-mile stretch of Germany’s autobahn. (Photo courtesy: Siemens)

Electrical cables have been suspended over trams and trolley tracks for more than 140 years. They’ve electrified bullet trains in Japan and Amtrak railways that connect Washington D.C and Boston. Now the United States, Germany, and Sweden are testing the technology on highways, hoping to eliminate emissions from tractor-trailers. 

A new study from Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering looks closer at using overhead cable line (OCL) technology to power trucks, evaluating if they are wise environmental and economical choices.

For some countries, including the United States as a whole, Sweden and Germany, the team suggests OCL technology is ideal. It’s also beneficial at the state level for New York, Washington, and Georgia. But for other areas, it shouldn’t be implemented until the region’s electric grid is cleaner.

Read the full story on the College of Engineering website.

News Contact

Jason Maderer

College of Engineering