Electrification of road freight transport

Road freight transport powered by electricity: Siemens’ eHighway system combines the efficiency of the railroad with the flexibility of trucks into an innovative freight traffic solution that is efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly.

The system makes it possible to reduce the use of fossil fuels and truck operating costs, at the same time eliminating local emissions such as CO2 and nitrogen oxides.

The concept for electrification of road freight traffic consists of three core elements: the energy supply, the pantograph, and hybrid drive technology.

Energy supply

The energy supply system is based on proven technology from the world of railroad electrification. The two-pole catenary system ensures a reliable energy supply for the eHighway truck. The catenary system leads to a level contact wire that enables stable current transmission, even at high speeds. The overhead contact lines are supplied with energy from substations equipped with:

  • Medium voltage switchgear

  • Power transformers

  • Rectifiers

  • Controlled inverters (for feedback of the electric energy generated by the vehicles’ regenerative braking)


The active pantograph transmits the energy from the overhead contact lines to the electric motor of the eHighway truck. The pantograph can be easily connected to and disconnected from the contact wire at speeds ranging from 0 to 90 km/h. This is done either automatically or manually at the push of a button.

Steering an eHighway truck connected to the overhead contact lines is no different to driving a diesel truck, as the active pantograph compensates for any shifts in position within the lane. The pantograph automatically disconnects in the event of evasive maneuvers or if the indicators are used.

Hybrid drive

On electrified routes, the electric motors in eHighway trucks are powered via the overhead contact lines and the active pantograph. For remaining sections of road, the eHighway truck has a hybrid drive. There are no restrictions on the type of hybrid drive: depending on the application and customer requirements, serial and parallel concepts with internal combustion engines, battery solutions, fuel cells etc. can all be implemented.

The electric motors of the eHighway trucks also enable recovery of the vehicle’s braking energy.



Innovative electric road freight transport