What better way to reduce pollution and conserve fuel than to electrify the highways? Germany has taken the lead in this innovative approach to fighting pollution with their new overhead electric lines system which allows trucks to draw power from overhead electric cables on the highway. According to the German government, this system was implemented on a 10 km stretch of the autobahn on Tuesday, the first of its kind on a German public road or anywhere in the World for that matter.
Trucks can connect to the electrified lines with a special equipment mounted on their roofs, this enables the trucks to run on electric motors and can travel at speeds of up to 90 km/h. When they return to traditional roads, they switch to a more conventional hybrid system. Sensors are used to detect when the overhead lines are available. Developed by Siemens, this e-Highway system promises a sharp cut down in CO2 and nitrogen oxides emission. The company also boasts of combining the efficiency of electric rail and the flexibility of trucking in one system.
How this technology can benefit our Nigerian Roads
Most Nigerian businesses located away from the port cities are heavily dependent on trucks to deliver their goods, this makes trucking and haulage a significant aspect of our economy. With this technology implemented on most of the federal highways frequently used by heavy-duty trucks, truckers could save $22,370 (N8,048,502) on fuel for every 100, 000 km
According to the Nigerian Data portal, transport exploitation is in part responsible for air pollution as it causes significant CO2 and greenhouse gases emissions in the atmosphere. Thus the major challenge of policymakers seeking to develop strategic transportation plans is to trade-off between the benefits and drawbacks of transport evolution.
As global CO2 emissions continue to rise, road transportation is projected to account for up to 15% of pollution increase by 2050. Innovations like this one are critical to reducing those numbers and limiting global warming.