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eHighway Demonstration in California Highlights New Approach to Green Roads

| November 8, 2017

eHighway

Check out the latest in green Class 8 technology: Siemens and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) are conducting a one-mile, zero-emission eHighway demonstration in Carson, Calif., near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Here’s the plan: Three big-rig trucks hauling freight are running along the stretch of highway that uses Siemens technology to electrify select highway lanes via an overhead catenary system. This 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.

The challenge is cler: Heavy-duty trucks are the number one source of smog-forming emissions in Southern California. Developing a zero- or near-zero goods movement system in the ports will reduce smog-forming, toxic and greenhouse gas emissions in communities around the ports, which are some of the most heavily impacted by air pollution.

“This project will help us evaluate the feasibility of a zero-emission cargo movement system using overhead catenary wires,” said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer. “This demonstration could lead to the deployment of eHighway systems that will reduce pollution and benefit public health for residents living near the ports.”

“Every day, Americans rely on the goods and services that are carried by freight. 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. Experts expect global CO2 emissions from road freight traffic to more than double by 2050,” said Andreas Thon, head of Turnkey Projects & Electrification, North America. “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 CO2 emissions, and help accommodate the growing reliance on freight transportation. 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.

The demonstration system, similar to trolley systems or streetcars, features an overhead contact line that makes power available to trucks along the road and an active pantograph located on top of the eHighway trucks that transfers energy from the overhead lines to the truck’s electric motors, allowing the truck to operate with zero emissions while on the catenary system.

Category: Featured, General Update, Green, News

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