The Government of India has already made it’s ambitions of electrification of automobiles loud and clear. Taking a step forward, Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India announced the plan to build an Electric Highway from Delhi to Mumbai.
As an initial step, a 10-km pilot electric highway and a barricaded light rail track will be built in the next two-three years. The two proposed pilot highways will have overhead electric supply which will power the engines of trucks and light metro rails.
Nitin Gadkari mentioned that his ministry, in association with heavy industries department, will run the pilot of electric highway that would cost somewhere around Rs 200 crore. This will include the set up of systems such as overhead cable and substations for trial run. This will involve a truck manufacturer as well to produce some prototypes. The project is on the similar lines to the trial run of electric highway demonstrated on the A5 motorway outside Frankfurt.
The proposed Delhi to Mumbai Electric Highway will supposedly pass through the economically backward areas of Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra which will save the government a considerable land acquisition cost (close to 16,000 crores).
Gadkari added that “Trucks of 80 tonnes will be deployed and these will draw power from the overhead electric cable. There will be two tracks and trucks with containers can run at 100kmph. The trucks will run on electricity for 20km and simultaneously, the battery will get charged thus allowing the trucks to run on stretches with no overhead wire. Again, after some distance, there will be overhead wires to which the trucks can tap on and simultaneously get charged again while running”.