The future of freight

Billions of tonnes of goods are moved by lorry every year – everything from food and clothes to building materials, electronic gadgets and toys.

Most heavy-duty vehicles run on diesel and they account for a quarter of the EU’s CO2 emissions from road transport. But making eco-friendly lorries and trucks is challenging. Big vehicles need big batteries, which currently take too long to charge and take up too much room.

So Germany is trying out a few alternatives. The eHighway system enables lorries to connect to overhead electricity cables, just like trams and trains. And while lorries are connected, smaller on-board batteries could be charged up too to power the final leg of a journey.

The country is also investing in another technology: hydrogen. Fuel cells convert the gas into electricity and the only emissions from these vehicles are water vapour and warm air. Seventy-five hydrogen fuel pumps have already opened across the country.

Reporter: William Kremer

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