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posted by cmn32480 on Wednesday August 16, @09:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the danger:-high-voltage dept.

Long distance trucking is a grossly inefficient way to move goods from one place to another. But the state of Hesse in Germany is about to embark on a trial which could help improve that inefficiency considerably. As business Green reports, 10 km of highway in Hesse will soon be equipped with overhead charging cables to be used by hybrid trucks to run on electricity when juice is available, and to switch back to diesel when it's not. It's all part of Siemens' eHighway initiative which the company claims would double energy efficiency compared running on gas, and slash emissions even more if those cables are charged from renewables.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:00PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:00PM (#554986)

    So it basically turns the trucks into very small trains without tracks.

    • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Wednesday August 16, @10:04PM

      by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday August 16, @10:04PM (#554988) Journal

      To ship by train from A to C you have to unload the goods at B onto a truck for delivery. With this you just go from A to C.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday August 16, @10:33PM (4 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday August 16, @10:33PM (#555006)

      But only for those 10km, and only for those trucks which are equipped for it, and, since it's a highway, when the trucks are cruising (unless there's a known 405-like jam in there)

      I know you gotta start somewhere, and NIMBY. But maybe 100 times the first 100 m after a traffic light would be more useful?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @11:16PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @11:16PM (#555022)

        You might have missed that this is for charging.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday August 16, @11:33PM (2 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday August 16, @11:33PM (#555027)

          No.
          It's over the road, for driving power. Tramway on wheels, like in many cities, but able to switch to diesel when the electrified section ends (or to pass).
          10km at 90km/h clocks in at under 7 minutes. Good luck charging a truck battery in that time. THe sparks would be wonderful at night.

          The infographic in TFA is nicely bullshit, giving huge numbers on how much could be saved if every single section of everything had those ugly electrical cables and every truck was suddenly a hybrid (at no ecological building cost, I'm sure). Which is not going to happen.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday August 17, @12:21AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 17, @12:21AM (#555032) Journal

            Yup that's how I read it.

            A ten km demonstration project which will do nothing but ugly up a highway, and not be of sufficient length to charge anything.
            They will probably have to fund the addition of trolley-arms, because no trucker is going to want to shell out for that when it can only be used on this specific 10km of road.

            They are planning to use something different than trolley arms because those are cantankerous. Even the pictured elevated pickup arms on the trucks are likely to rip down the wires on the first swerve to avoid some other road hazard.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday August 17, @08:17PM

            by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 17, @08:17PM (#555540)

            You want to really make this a fucking disaster? Start a campaign to merge this project with solar freakin roadways. The end result will be so disastrous that you could use it to convince people that burning coal and building 1960's nuke plants is green.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:01PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:01PM (#554987)

    Hyperloops for shipping goods? Then, at least, a catastrophic failure won't [directly] kill anyone.

    At the very least, miniature train systems along the existing autobahns would be useful.

    Just get the shipping off the roads, and thereby free them up for general traffic.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:11PM (#554990)

      One container full of fidget spinners should be enough to kill everyone.

  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Thursday August 17, @12:58AM (6 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday August 17, @12:58AM (#555046)

    Long distance trucking is a grossly inefficient way to move goods from one place to another.

    Which is why several countries worldwide depend on it for getting goods from place of origination to place to need.

    I dunno, I guess in the good ol USA they could get Mexicans to carry 100 lbs on their backs for 30 miles a day.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by MostCynical on Thursday August 17, @01:30AM (5 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday August 17, @01:30AM (#555057)

      From wikipedia:
      Within the U.S. railroads carry 39.9% of freight by ton-mile, followed by trucks (33.4%), oil pipelines (14.3%), barges (12%) and air (0.3%).

      Railways carried 17.1% of EU freight in terms of tonne-km,[12] compared to road transport (76.4%) and inland waterways (6.5%). (From "Rail Freight Transport")

      So Europe (and, presumably Germany) really needs to get more bulk goods off the road.
      Seems they'd be better off building more railway lines and pipelines, rather than encouraging more trucks to use the roads (even hybrids).

      --
      (Score: tau, Irrational)
      • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Thursday August 17, @01:46AM (4 children)

        by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday August 17, @01:46AM (#555066)

        So, trucks are 20% less efficient than trains for carrying bulk goods long distances. Howzabout you build a train spur to my local Walmart, which is 20 miles away from the nearest train spur? Keep in mind that 20 miles away is covered in suburbia, apartments, and freeways trucks can run on.

        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Thursday August 17, @02:14AM (3 children)

          by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday August 17, @02:14AM (#555080)

          Bulk frieght should go by rail to "local" dsitribution centres

          local can mean 20, 30, or. In regional areas, even larger distances.

          Double and triple trailer trucks should not need to be on the road.

          Smaller trucks, doing fewer miles, using trains for big distances would be the most efficient way, but requres a level of cooperation that most companies (and governments) cannot manage, alas.

          --
          (Score: tau, Irrational)
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, @02:52AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, @02:52AM (#555092)

            > Bulk frieght should go by rail..

            For many years I've been proposing that some trains should be dedicated to drive-on flat bed rolling stock. Truckers can just drive on, be locked in place (with standardized clamps) and then go to sleep in their sleeper cab...while they travel the long distance part of their run on a train. At the end, drive off the train and to the final destination. What's not to like? Fuel savings, truckers have more sleep time (safer) and less trucks on the interstates (much less road damage).

            With a smart phone reservation system and large platforms so the trains can be loaded/unloaded quickly, this might actually speed up longer distance runs?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, @03:36AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, @03:36AM (#555120)

              So haul the mass of the freight and the inert mass of the fueled tractor? And a driver with no way to stretch her legs every few hours?

              I'll bet we could construct large buildings in a spoke and hub system that trucks could unload and pick up from. These hubs could then load the freight into box cars and on to flatbed cars for transportation to another hub. They would need an organizational system, possibly based on wooden mats of a sort that the freight units for different spoke destinations could be shrunk-wrap to and labeled with some sort of machine-readable identification.

              We could call these hubs "cargohouses."

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, @04:07AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, @04:07AM (#555129)

                > So haul the mass of the freight and the inert mass of the fueled tractor?

                Yes. As long as the trailer is fairly full, my guess (no data) is that this will still improve the total system efficiency. In part because road damage is so expensive to repair (but not normally accounted for in the system cost). Also, note that I proposed an efficient scheduling system, so that the truckers drive on when they are ready for a sleep cycle anyway.

                > And a driver with no way to stretch her legs every few hours?

                If the trucks drive on and off on one side, then the special flat bed rail cars could have an enclosed walkway on the other side for the drivers to walk the length of the train, go to a dining car, walk to each others sleepers to hookup, etc. Good idea!

  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 17, @04:20AM

    by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 17, @04:20AM (#555130)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7GUvttfe0k [youtube.com]

    Not sure what's more unsettling, for road engineers to be Super Mario film fans or for them to be bumper cars aficionados...

    Now if we could only just find a few Jetsons fans in the mix...

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    compiling...
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