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DHL operates Scania’s pantograph-equipped truck on e-roads

22 JANUARY 2024

Less noise, less disruption, less emission. That is what electrified roads have for the heavy transport industry, as DHL joins the potential of e-roads and takes delivery of a pantograph-equipped truck.

While battery electric vehicles are Scania’s main technology to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system, we continue to explore other technologies. One of them is e-roads. 


Scania rolls out the last two of 22 pantograph-equipped trucks in the final delivery of an ongoing trial on electrified road systems (ERS) in Germany. The final two vehicles, the third-generation ERS trucks, now complete the 20 trucks already operating in the trials. DHL is a new customer to operate the third-generation ERS truck based on the pHEV and BEV platforms.


“We want to further reduce our emissions and are naturally ready to test new technologies for those purposes. Thus, we engage in research projects for the further decarbonisation of heavy load traffic,” says Ingo Kutsch, Head of Deutsche Post and DHL Kiel branch.


In November 2023, DHL took delivery of the truck after signing an agreement to lease the truck until December 2024. The truck will commute between Reinfeld and Lübeck and will reportedly cover more than 80 km every day transporting letters and parcels to three different distribution centres in Hamburg and Lübeck. DHL joins other major organisations like Merck, Contargo, and Meyer Logistics in the exclusive project involving ERS technology.


“We are excited over the interest in this solution from a major transport player as DHL. And we share an understanding that the future will mean that a multitude of solutions must be used. Catenary lines are likely to be one of them due to their efficiency and lack of range issues,” says Fredrik Allard, Senior Vice President and Head of E-Mobility at Scania.


It is encouraging to see that DHL has taken an interest in our ERS technology where the first trial was launched in Germany in 2019 in a project funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Presently, there are three ongoing trials with pantograph-equipped trucks:

  • Trial 1: The A5 with overhead catenary lines runs the segment in Hessen in the directions of Darmstadt and Frankfurt. An extension of seven kilometres opened for traffic in May 2023.
  • Trial 2: In late 2019, an additional segment of electrified road was opened near Lübeck in Schleswig-Holstein (A1) where five Scania trucks are currently being tested.
  • Trail 3: The third trial started in Baden-Württemberg (B462) in 2021. 


On heavily trafficked roads, e-road is an alternative solution that offers effective charging en route directly from the electrical grid to the vehicle, saves battery power and helps to reduce CO2 emissions significantly. The technology enables electrified trucks to operate for longer hours in transport assignments and is environmentally friendlier with quieter vehicles and no exhaust emissions. As Scania continues to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system, the company continues to invest and develop electrified solutions and other avenues to make headways in sustainable transport