Engineering giant Siemens would like to blend today's technology with a very old form of powering road vehicles, proposing to electrify the roads with overhead power lines to allow lorries to recharge themselves as they fly down the motorways -- then revert to battery power when turning off to make their deliveries.
According to Siemens' technicians, this could be done in Germany by installing just 4,000km of overhead lines. This would suddenly make electric vehicles vastly more viable to use to haul our stuff, as they could have smaller and cheaper batteries yet still manage to cover the extended distances needed by delivery fleets.
Compared to other future technologies like hydrogen fuel cells Siemens thinks this tramline technique could save €200 billion over the next 30 years, so long as someone gives the plan the go-ahead. The tech firm and several of its partners have been trialing a catenary-based overhead power system since 2015, with a 2km stretch of this "eHighway" already wired up just outside Stockholm. The ambition being to do away with today's finest hybrid vehicles and replace them with all-electric options in the distant, electrified future. [Quartz]