This Smart Electric Highway Charges Vehicles As They Drive on It

Trucks connect to an overhead power line, like bumping cars at the amusement park.
Derya Ozdemir

Ready to travel to Lübeck, Germany to see an enormous highway project? It's not your regular highway project though: Here, electric trucks with pantographs, which are basically motorized arms that lift out of the roof of the car to meet overhead wires, can pull power directly from the grid to charge, which means they basically work like electric trains.

In this video, the popular YouTuber Tom Scott visits one of the several eHighway test projects in Germany to see the system firsthand. While the concept appears simple, putting it into practice on a large scale is costly and reveals the project's complexity. It's still an important milestone for efforts to decarbonize road freight traffic in Germany.

As fossil fuels get phased out and batteries become cheaper, charging up electric trucks — which typically require massive batteries — while they're on the move could greatly accelerate the electrification revolution. If you want to learn more, make sure you watch the video embedded above, and as always, enjoy!

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