DSV is participating in and supplying data for the ELISA eHighway project to support the company’s long-term targets for reducing carbon emissions.
New technologies such as long-distance electric road freight will be central to DSV achieving its 2030 ambition to lower its indirect emissions by 30% and ultimately achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Without the right levels of infrastructure, there is a danger that charging stations will be the Suez Canal of road transportation and the cause of significant delays and congestion for electric vehicles. If the eHighway is established and expanded across Europe, it would create new possibilities when it comes to introducing long-distance electric trucks and offer lower-emission services without any delays for our customers. As a leading company in the industry, we see it as our responsibility to contribute to the early stages of the development of new technologies such as the eHighway,” says Søren Schmidt, CEO of DSV Road.
The ELISA eHighway is a range of project partners working to establish an electric highway that allows for easy on-the-go charging of electric vehicles, eliminating downtime spent on charging and eventually enabling a transition to long-distance electric trucks. The trucks driving on eHighway test tracks are equipped with roof sensors that detect an overhead contact line above the vehicle, which then connects to the line through a pantograph and charges while driving.
DSV is collaborating with researchers from the Institute of Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, who are collecting and analysing data to evaluate scientifically the development of the eHighway.
Since the beginning of February, a subcontracted DSV driver has been using the 10, soon to be 17, kilometre eHighway test track in Frankfurt, transporting customers’ goods to and from Frankfurt Airport. A data logger in the truck sends data to researchers from the Institute concerning more than 150 parameters, such as battery charging state and fuel rate. Additionally, the researchers conduct weekly evaluation interviews with the driver.
DSV seeks to help bridge a gap between the industry and academia by supplying data for research: “We are excited to provide daily data from actual operations, which can help in the development of the eHighway. The ELISA eHighway project is a great example of collaboration in and between the industry and academia, which will be absolutely critical as we work towards a sustainable solution to the biggest challenge of our time,” says Søren Schmidt.
In addition to the track in Frankfurt, which DSV is currently testing, the project includes test tracks in the German cities of Stuttgart and Lübeck. The current phase of the project runs until the end of 2024. Project partners are applying for funding for a potential next stage, allowing for further development of the eHighway.