eHighway – Electrification of road freight transport

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

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Road freight facts

What is the best strategy to climate-friendly road freight transportation?

Even under ambitious scenarios to shift goods transport to electrified rail, road freight is expected to grow in absolute terms and remain the biggest source of CO2 from freight. We all depend on trucks for goods and services we need in our daily lives. But 24% of global CO2 emissions are caused by transportation, and road freight transport plays a considerable role in these emissions. As we aim to cut emissions by 65% in Germany by 2030, and reach carbon neutrality in Europe by 2045, it is imperative to examine strategies that will contribute to significantly lower emissions in the transportation sector.


Siemens Mobility is conducting a comparison of technology concepts to reduce CO2 emissions in long-haul trucking, assessing the advantages and disadvantages in terms of economic and environmental impact by evaluating eight criteria: Operational Range, Time to Market, Scalability & Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Total Cost of Ownership, Flexibility, and CO2 Abatement Cost. Let’s take a look at the facts.

The logistics industry has an average daily mileage of 750 km, and today’s diesel trucks have a range of up to 2,300 km. Long-haul journeys above 500km almost exclusively are driven on highways. Interestingly, 89% of German trucks only drive 50 km or fewer when leaving the highway roads.


Our eHighway solution enables unlimited operational range within the infrastructure. Overhead contact line (OCL) trucks are equipped with a battery for additional electric range outside of the OCL infrastructure. In comparison, 40-ton Battery-electric trucks (BEV) have a maximum range of 200 km, Fuel-Cell Electric trucks (FCEV) have good potential for long-haul trucking, and trucks powered by Renewable Fuels (RF) have about the same range as conventional combustion engine trucks.

Reaching the ambitious CO2 emission goals for long-haul trucking requires a quick roll-out of proven technologies. Several alternative drives and fuel systems are in the works, but which technology can deliver the required impact in time?


The Siemens Mobility eHighway solution is based on mature technology and more than 100 years of overhead contact line (OCL) experience. The system has established supply chains and open standards. It can be implemented immediately to make a valuable contribution to reducing emissions in long-haul trucking.

 Scalability and resource efficiency. Stay tuned!

The article will be published on Tuesday, June 24, 2021


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Reduce truck operating costs and emissions

Implementing eHighway on the core highways creates a backbone solution for energy efficient, low cost, zero emission trucking that is complementary with other drive trains, fuels and transportation technology trends (e.g. automated or high-capacity vehicles). The eHighway system is applicable for various use cases.

Shuttle transport

Heavily-used truck routes, for example from ports to freight and distribution centers, are often a burden on the environment. In these situations, the eHighway system produces a significant reduction in pollutant and CO2 emissions. At the same time, the economic benefits of the system are felt particularly quickly on these high-use routes.

  • Solution for high frequency shuttle transport over short and medium distances (< 50 km), i.e. in ports or industrial areas
  • Lower fuel consumption and longer lifetime
  • Reduction of air and noise pollution

Electrified freight transport in mines

The eHighway is an ideal way to connect pits and mines with warehouses, transshipment points or processing plants. The economic benefits of the eHighway system can be easily calculated on the basis of transport volumes. At the same time, the eHighway system significantly reduces environmental pollution and dependence on fossil fuels.

  • Connection of pits and mines to storage or transit locations
  • Minimization of harmful emissions
  • Sustainable, clean and economical mine operation

Electrified long-haul traffic

The eHighway system is based on a safe and proven infrastructure to provide a continuous energy supply to heavy commercial vehicles. It can be integrated and operated within the existing road infrastructure without significant effort and combines the efficiency of electrified railroads with the flexibility of trucks, halving energy consumption while maintaining full mobility. The eHighway system enables trucks to use renewable energy and can contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions. Both the ecological and economic advantages of the eHighway system grow with increased use of the route.

  • Economical and sustainable alternative for road freight transport
  • Significant reduction of CO2 emissions
  • Substantial cost savings for freight carriers

How eHighway works

eHighway. Benefits and highlights:

  • Innovative freight traffic solution
  • Combines efficiency of electified railroads with flexibility of trucks
  • Economical and environmentally friendly
  • Applicable for various use cases: Shuttle transport, Electrified freight transport in mines, Electrified long-haul traffic
  • Consists of three core elements: the energy supply, the pantograph, and hybrid drive technology

eHighway is part of the clean truck technology mix promoted by the German Transport Ministry

Downloads and Support

Learn more about eHighway

Tune in to the podcast with Roland Edel, CTO of Siemens Mobility.

Learn about Roland’s vision of the eHighway and why electrified systems are the key to achieve a sustainable society.


The eHighway system is twice as efficient as conventional internal combustion engines. The Siemens innovation supplies trucks with power from an overhead contact line – and is already used in Sweden and the USA.
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eHighway from Siemens

Siemens’ eHighway system combines the efficiency of electrified railroads with the flexibility of trucks into an innovative freight traffic solution that is efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly.

Learn more about how eHighway can be adapted to your requirements

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