Reducing GHG Emissions from road freight transport with Electric Road Systems

Focus Area

Climate Change


Air Quality, Environmental Process




Over $750k


2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

Problem Freight movement accounts for approximately 20% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation and is expected to increase in its share. International Transport Forum (ITF) estimates that global emissions from road freight transport will grow from 1.36 gigatons of CO2 in 2015 to 2.40 gigatons by 2050. To meet constraints faced by road freight in terms of significantly lowering or reducing CO2 emissions in order to fulfill the Paris climate agreement and improved air quality an Electric Road System (ERS), based on an Overhead Contact Line (OCL)-hybrid heavy-duty vehicle (HDV), has been designed, developed, tested and demonstrated. The ERS demonstrated has twice the energy efficiency of conventional diesel HDVs and enables usage of renewable energy. The technological development was made possible by combining expertise from rail electrification, electric drives and a newly developed active current collector for dynamically connecting to the OCL and receiving a continuous supply of electricity to power the engine and store energy on-board. Earlier research projects demonstrated that a hybrid truck can run in pure electric mode without any change in the operations for the driver and without concessions on truck performance. Objective To research the suitability of ERS for daily use on one or more sections on port area , mines or on public operating roads (highways) for potential to reduce GHG emissions while addressing other key goals such as economic efficiency and safety. Results could be used to guide future ERS corridors in larger scale.

Urgency and Payoff

Many states have GHG reduction goals with targets starting in 2025 that they are NOT on track to achieve. The information gathered from this project could inform state and local transportation agencies on the feasibility of Electric Road System to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote overall sustainability in the transportation sector. Effectiveness The results could be used to reduce the cost and operational difficulties due to climate change. Furthermore, the results could be used to avert operation problems and disruptions on the movement of goods.

Suggested By

Tizian Hippeli Siemens Mobility

[email protected]