Siemens is to conduct trials on a two-mile stretch of highway after installing a catenary system for electric and hybrid trucks in the vicinity of the largest US ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The company was awarded the associated contract by Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The objective is to completely eliminate local emissions such as nitrogen oxides and to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and cut the operating costs of trucks. The test results should be available in the summer of 2016, and will indicate the suitability of the systems for future commercial use. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are seeking an emission-free solution (“Zero Emission I-710 Project”) for a section of Highway 710, which carries a high proportion of shuttle truck traffic. The 30 kilometer route links the two ocean ports and the railroad transshipment centers inland.
As part of the installation of the eHighway systems, two lanes of Alameda Street in the city of Carson, California, are being electrified via a catenary system. On the road, E-trucks equipped with hybrid drive and smart current collectors will be supplied with electricity from catenaries, offering local zero-emission operation. In conjunction with vehicle manufacturer Mack, a member of the Volvo Group, and local truck conversion specialists, Siemens is developing up to four demonstration vehicles. The smart current collectors permit overtaking maneuvers and automatic hook-up and disconnection at speeds up to 90 km/h. On normal roads without overhead lines the vehicles make use of a hybrid system which can be operated alternatively with diesel, compressed natural gas or via a battery.
“Our highway technology eliminates local emissions and is an economically attractive solution for freight transport on shuttle truck routes,” says Matthias Schlelein, head of Siemens Division Mobility and Logistics in the USA. “Long Beach and Los Angeles, the two US ports generating the most traffic, can benefit hugely from our technology.”
“This project will help us evaluate the feasibility of a zero-emission cargo movement system using overhead catenaries,” said Barry Wallerstein, SCAQMD’s executive officer. “Southern California’s air pollution is so severe that it needs, among other strategies, zero- and near-zero emission goods movement technologies to achieve clean air standards.”
“I’m happy to see the Los Angeles region leading the way in bringing cutting edge technology to an increasingly important economic center,” said Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino. “The eHighway project is a great example of how electricity can help power the next generation of transportation systems while also providing cleaner air for our citizens in the process.”