[LINK] eHighways & electric planes

David Lochrin dlochrin at key.net.au
Fri Jun 24 11:02:01 AEST 2016

On 2016-06-23 09:28 Marghanita da wrote:

> The eHighway system is a low-emission solution that was developed by Siemens for heavily used truck shuttle routes. Electric or hybrid-drive trucks use pantographs to draw electric power from overhead conductors, which allows them to travel with practically no emissions.  [...]

That's possibly a better option in Germany with its autobahn network and high percentage of renewable energy generation, up to 30% in 2014.   According to Wikipedia "on Sunday 15 May 2016 at 14:00 hours, renewables supplied nearly all of [German] domestic electricity demand.[4]".

NSW State Transport trialled hybrid busses in Sydney some time ago.  They were far more comfortable than any diesel bus with wonderfully smooth acceleration, but a consultant's report claimed they were more costly due principally to their (currently) higher capital cost and battery-replacement cost though that would probably reduce if the fleet were hybrid - see

And a Mercedes fuel-cell bus was running around Perth a few years ago, but I think it may have been part of a related conference.

So much for low-level technology, but what's missing in Australia is any sort of rational transport planning with defined goals & objectives.

Conservative governments seem to be obsessed with roads, such as the WestConnex vandalism in Sydney and the East West Link in Melbourne, now successfully wound up by the Andrews Government - see
There's a view that conservative minds associate railways (and probably public transport generally) with unions, hence their reluctance to go there.

As a wonderful example of erratic planning, a few years ago the local Council put about a scheme for an "inter-nodal transport hub" near Berrima in the Southern Highlands.  Container ships would berth at Kiama instead of Sydney, where containers would be loaded onto trains and hauled up a mountain on a single-track line (with side tracks allowing trains going in the opposite direction to pass).  When the trains reached Berrima the containers would be stored for a while then loaded onto semi-trailers to be taken back to Sydney (and elsewhere) by road.  I'm serious...

In a country like Australia we should look at long-haul transport primarily by rail, with distribution from rail heads by smaller (maybe hybrid) trucks.

David L.

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