GEODIS explores opportunities in electric highways


GEODIS has joined a consortium of French companies to commission a study on electric highways from the consultancy firm Carbone 4. The study, published on February 27, confirms the possibility of developing this technology to reduce the CO2 emissions resulting from freight transport.

The study focuses on the implementation of a fleet of hybrid heavy goods vehicles powered by a continuous supply of electricity made available over the entire length of the highway. The electricity distribution system would be installed along the inner lane of the highway, which would remain open to other vehicles, notably conventional heavy goods vehicles. The hybrid truck design would allow for use of an electric motor on the highway and a traditional internal combustion engine for manoeuvring and non-highway travel.  

Philippe de Carné, Innovation Director at GEODIS, said: “Innovation is in our DNA. The search for alternatives to diesel and the reduction of the environmental impacts of dangerous emissions is one of our main research aims at GEODIS. This is why we sought to initiate this study. Our role as a leader in our sector and an enabler of our customers’ growth is to prepare for the technological advances that lie ahead in our constantly changing environment.”

The study shows that this type of project is an effective way of reducing the environmental impact of goods transport by road while optimizing the use of existing transport infrastructure. Implementation would require only a slight operational adjustment on the part of road transport professionals, with minimal training to adapt the driving style of drivers.

The study confirms that for transport companies using a single route or high-traffic routes, the electric highway is a profitable option given current market conditions. Public financial support of €3bn would serve to achieve profitability faster by generating positive environmental externalities and a beneficial macroeconomic effect.

Source: Geodis