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Germany is joining the ranks of those countries betting on “electric highways” to foster eco-friendly trucking. The country has started real-world tests of an eHighway system on a 3.1-mile stretch of the Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, with an electric-diesel hybrid truck merging into everyday traffic while it received power from overhead cables to keep it from using its combustion engine. Earlier tests in the country relied on either slow nighttime tests or the safety of an unused military airfield.

The very first eHighway launched in Sweden in 2016. The concept here is the same — the trucks use pantographs (the pickps on their roofs) to latch on to the overhead cables and draw electricity. Trucks can feed electricity into the grid when they brake, making the system particularly useful if there’s ever a jam.

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Photo courtesy Engadget

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