Siemens will conduct trials of its eHighway system (earlier post) in California on a two-mile (3.2 km) 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 eliminate local emissions such as nitrogen oxides completely 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 Board of the SCAQMD had originally awarded a contract to Siemens for the overhead catenary project at the April 2013 Board meeting—but contingent upon receiving up to $8,000,000 from the ports and other entities. Delays by the ports in providing the funds were putting the project funding from other entities at risk, so earlier this year, the board removed the contingency and authorized executing a contract with Siemens in an amount not to exceed $13,500,000.)
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 (18.6-mile) 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 (56 mph). 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. Long Beach and Los Angeles, the two US ports generating the most traffic, can benefit hugely from our technology.—Matthias Schlelein, head of Siemens Division Mobility and Logistics in the US