One-Mile Demo Line with Three Heavy Trucks in Carson,
TransPower and Volvo-Mack for the Electric-Drive Vehicles
A long-discussed idea to use overhead catenary lines to power trucks exiting Southern California’s big ports is moving closer to fruition: Siemens reports that America’s first “eHighway” demonstration is running, with three different heavy duty, electric-drive trucks “hauling freight.”
A diesel-hybrid truck by developed Volvo-Mack, and a battery-electric truck and CNG-fueled hybrid-electric truck developed by TransPower are taking part in the Siemens-led, SCAQMD-backed eHighway project.“Siemens-TransPower Project Backed by a Bevy of Agencies” was the headline in a Fleets & Fuels report nearly four and a half years ago (F&F, June 18, 2013). The common-sense concept, then called “Zetech,” was detailed in a report by F&F publisher GNA/Gladstein, Neandross & Associates in April 2012.
Siemens cites SCAQMD, the Los Angeles area’s South Coast Air Quality Management District, as the primary backer of the $13.5 million project.
Like a Trolley or Streetcar
As described by Siemens, the “catenary system supplies the trucks with electric power, similar to how modern-day trolleys or streetcars are powered on many city streets, and the system also allows for truck operation outside of the electrified sections of infrastructure.”
“This project will help us evaluate the feasibility of a zero-emission cargo movement system using overhead catenary wires,” Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer, says in the Siemens eHighway announcement.
“This demonstration could lead to the deployment of eHighway systems that will reduce pollution and benefit public health for residents living near the ports,” Nastri said.
Electric-Drive Trucks by TransPower and Mack
A battery-electric truck and a CNG/compressed natural gas-fueled hybrid-electric truck developed by TransPower and a diesel-hybrid truck by Volvo-Mack are plying the mile-long eHighway strip on the north- and south-bound lanes of South Alameda Street from East Lomita Boulevard to the Dominguez Channel in Carson.
“Every day, Americans rely on the goods and services that are carried by freight,” said Andreas Thon, who heads turnkey projects and electrification for Siemens in North America.
“But with that mode of transportation predicted to double by 2050, only one-third of this additional travel can be handled by trains despite expansion of rail infrastructure,” Thon said. “Experts expect global carbon dioxide emissions from road freight traffic to more than double by 2050,” he said.
Keeping the Ports Competitive
“This electrified truck system, what we call eHighway, can modernize the existing infrastructure using the latest technology to accommodate the growing amount of freight travel, reduce harmful emissions, and keep these ports, one of our country’s major economic drivers, competitive.”
“The system is expected to lower fossil fuel consumption, reduce truck operating costs, substantially reduce smog-forming, toxic and carbon dioxide emissions, and help accommodate the growing reliance on freight transportation,” Siemens says.
“The aim of this specific project is to demonstrate the eHighway system applied in truck operation on public roads in an urban U.S. setting and to further prepare applications for larger scale initiatives in the future.”
Lots of Backers
The $13.5 million project is funded by $2.5 million from SCAQMD, Siemens reports, as well as $4 million from a settlement with China Shipping, $3 million from the California Energy Commission, $2 million from the Port of Long Beach and $2 million from LA Metro.
Siemens provided a $1.3 million in-kind contribution. SCAQMD is providing an additional $2.1 million and the U.S. EPA is providing $500,000 for the TransPower contract, Siemens adds.
The multinational notes too that in June 2016 it launched the world’s first eHighway system on public roads in Sweden, using a two-kilometer section of a highway north of Stockholm. Three field trials of the eHighway technology on German highways are planned to start operation in 2019.
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Source: Siemens with Fleets & Fuels follow-up