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Electric Highway (e-Highway) Market: Information by Technology (Overhead Lines, Rail, Inductive) and Region — Forecast till 2029

Market Snapshot
Study Period:
Base Year:
Fastest Growing Market:
Largest Market:
Asia Pacific
14.2 %
Key Players
ALE International

Cisco System Inc

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd

Honeywell International Inc

Highways are a vital part of the modernized economy, and transport is studied to be a significant end-sector with high dependence on fossil fuels, accounting for a share of approx. 90% of all other primary resources.

Transport is the leading source of greenhouse gases (GHG), with passenger surface transport being the largest sub-component. However, between 2016 and 2019, a significant shift has been witnessed with emissions from freight surface transport growing rapidly in comparison to passenger surface transport. The infographic below depicts this shift on a global scale over the years with projected growth for the period 2020–2027.

percentage shift of GHG between passenger and freight surface transport

The concept of electric highways or e-highways has emerged to reduce the impact of the shift and reduce air pollution. It integrates railway technology as the modern highway, where reformed hybrid trucks are provided with electricity from overhead connection lines through a dynamic pantograph, capable of coupling and uncoupling the overhead cables to speeds ranging up to 90kmph. The materialization of this concept would help economies attain the feasibility of road transport economically by utilizing existing infrastructure and reducing energy usage.

The electrification of road transport (ERS) is studied to have promising prospects, vitally as a drive range extender for long trips by providing electric vehicles (EVs) with continuous electricity in mobility rather than using onboard batteries, facilitating EVs to charge their batteries on the go.

In an aim to understand the market and its growth prospects, the global electric highway market has studied across three different e-road technologies — overhead lines, rail, and inductive. The below table explains these technologies highlighting their differences.



Overhead Lines

  • Among the most developed technologies, highly inspired by that of trains, trolley coaches, and trams
  • Attributes: Easy to integrate and can help swiftly reduce GHG
  • Disadvantage: Cannot serve the passenger cars segment
  • Its first demonstration was conducted under the sponsorship of the Swedish Transport Administration in 2016
  • The technology is undergoing several demonstrations and planning stages in the U.S., Sweden, and Germany


  • The technology is still being developed; its several variants for conductive power transmission from the roadway to the vehicle are currently being studied
  • Attributes: Can serve vehicles of different sizes and different power requirements.
  • Challenge: Maintenance and operations of the rail in challenging scenarios, such as snow, ice, frost, and salt
  • A few startups, such as Elonroad and Elways (Sweden), are working on different rail concepts that could be implemented in the near future
  • Established companies operating in the automotive sector are pursuing a collaborative approach to materialize the rail concept. For instance, in 2018, Volvo collaborated with Alstom for adapting the technology to heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs)


  • Inductive technologies are built underneath the asphalt; thus, there is no separation of the top layer of the road
  • The technologies for inductive dynamic vehicle charging are significantly less developed than overhead lines and rail, and in current times, different concepts and designs are under development
  • A few projects have been demonstrated by Bombardier, a Canadian multinational manufacturer of business jets and KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) with the capacity levels required for long-distance, heavy goods transport
  • Challenge: Costs significantly higher than rail and contact wire

Figure 1 : Estimated % Share of e-Road Technologies in Electric Highway Market, 2020–2029

estimated percentage share of e-road technologies in electric highway market 2020 to 2029

The primary goal of the concept of electric highway and associated technologies is to reduce the carbon emissions from conventional transportation media such as diesel-based automotive. The below figure portrays emission estimates for 2019–2027, comparing conventional transport media, namely diesel-fueled automotive, with emerging technologies, namely rail and overhead lines.

Figure 2: Emission Estimates for Convectional Transport vs. Emerging Technologies, 2019–2027

emission estimates for convectional transport vs emerging technologies 2019 to 2027

The global electric highway market is studied across five key regions, namely North America, Europe, South America, the Middle-East, and Africa. A key criterion for consideration during the study of the electric highway market is the consumption of electric vehicles in these regions as it will positively impact the demand for associated infrastructure such as electric highways.

Figure 3: EV Consumption Across Regions, 2017–2027

EV Consumption Across Regions 2017 to 2027

Asia-Pacific is a promising market for the adoption of electric highways as the region accounts for the highest projected consumption of electric vehicles. In 2018, approx. 425,000 electric buses were operating globally, of which 98% were in China. The city of Shenzhen, in particular, is one of the few cities that has a fully electrified fleet. South Korea had 145 battery-powered buses operating in 2019, with the capital city Seoul accounting for a majority of the fleet.

Such scenarios will certainly augment the demand for associated infrastructure that would not help in bringing down the GHG percentage but also enhance fleet operations, making Asia-Pacific a high potential electric  highway market of the future.

Europe accounts for the second-highest consumption of electric vehicles as a result of favorable initiatives and tax benefits that regulatory bodies offer in return for adopting electric vehicles. Some of the key government initiatives associated with the adoption of electric vehicles in European countries are listed below.






  • In the next 2-3 years, every sixth bus operating on conventional fuels will be replaced with an electric bus, resulting in the transformation of the country’s whole public transport to electric by 2029 end






  • Intends to ban sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040, replacing them with electric vehicles
  • Installation of about 200,000 electric vehicles and 12,000 publically accessible infrastructure stations by 2020



  • Adoption of 600,000 electric vehicles and installation of about 14,000 publically accessible infrastructure stations by 2020

The Netherlands




  • 75,000 privately owned electric vehicles on roads by 2020
  • Adoption of 200,000 electric vehicles and installation of 32,000 publically accessible infrastructure stations by 2020






  • Proposed ban on the sale of ICE vehicles by 2040
  • Adoption of 2,500,000 electric vehicles and installation of 82,000 publically accessible infrastructure stations by 2020
  • A target of adopting 2.5 million electric vehicles by 2020





  • A target of more than one million electric vehicles on roads 2030  
  • Adoption of 200,000 electric vehicles and installation of 5,000 publically accessible infrastructure stations by 2020

The U.K.




  • 25% of the government fleet to be ultra-low emission by 2022
  • Established a target of 1.55 million electric vehicles by 2020










  • Targets installation of 100,000 public electric charging stations by 2020
  • Vehicle taxes for company electric vehicles to be reduced
  • The EU Commission approves USD 76 million public support scheme for electric buses and charging infrastructure in Germany
  • 1,000 new electric vehicle charging stations on German Autobahn by 2020








  • National Development Plan, 2018–2027, includes a target of 500,000 electric vehicles by 2030, no new non-zero emission vehicle to be sold in 2030, more electric buses and no conventional buses purchased from 2019
  • Adoption of 350,000 electric vehicles and installation of 2,000 publically accessible infrastructure by 2020

Figure 4: Snapshot of Potential Zones of Adoption for the Global Electric Highway Market, 2020–2029

snapshot of potential zones of adoption for the global electric highway market 2020 to 2029

Global Participation

  • May 2019: Germany introduced its first test route of 10 km of the A5 autobahn for overhead line hybrid trucks, also known as the electric highway. The highway deploys Siemens eHighway technology, specifically designed for hybrid trucks equipped with equipment mounted on their roofs, allowing them to draw electric power from overhead cables.
  • July 2019: India is expected to introduce its first highway corridors installed with charging stations along the Delhi–Jaipur and Delhi–Agra highways by 2020.
  • January 2020: India’s Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, announced that 60% of the contracts for the Delhi–Mumbai electric highway, which will be a 1,300 km stretch of a 12-lane green highway, have already been awarded to key tech giants from Germany, the U.S., and Sweden.
  • February 2020: Tesla Motors is discussing plans with the relevant authorities to include Greece in a mega-project focused on building vehicle superchargers along the European Portugal–Turkey route. The route stretches to an approx. of 4,800 kilometers, and thus, the deployment of about 1,500 electrical chargers along with 250 charging points is proposed along the way.

Electric Highway (e-Highway) Market: Segmentation

By Technology

  • Overhead Lines
  • Rail
  • Inductive

By Region

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Inductive Technology Segment is expected to be the leading segment in Electric Highway Market during the forecast period.
ALE International, Cisco System Inc. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, Honeywell International Inc, Siemens AG, ABB Ltd., AT&T Inc, IBM Corporation, LG CSN, Schneider Electric SE are the top players in Electric Highway Market.
Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest market share in Electric Highway Market.
Increasing adoption of electric vehicles, rising adoption of electric highways, are the key factors expected to drive Electric Highway Market during the forecast period.
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