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Siemens brings eHighways to LA

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Electrified truck lanes feeding into ports could be the way of the future, thanks to a new installation near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – two of the largest in the US.

German electronics giant Siemens is to install its eHighway catenary system that allows electrification of highway lanes to supply trucks with electric power near the two ports.

The move follows a contract Siemens signed recently with South Coast Air Quality Management District in California to both install and demonstrate the system.

Along with Volvo Group via its subsidiary Mack Trucks brand, Siemens is developing a demonstration vehicle for the project.

According to Siemens, the electrified catenary system is an economically attractive and environmentally-friendly solution to transport goods on highly frequented routes near the two ports. It is also claimed to offer the same flexibility as that of diesel trucks.

Thanks to an innovative current collector, trucks can connect and disconnect from the catenary system at any speed for dynamic power supply directly to the electric engine and for on-board storage.

The two-way, one-mile catenary system will be installed by Siemens and the system will be demonstrated with different battery-electric and hybrid trucks. The expected result is lower fossil fuel consumption, substantially reduced smog-forming, toxic and CO2 emissions, and lower operating costs.

“As the first and second busiest container ports in the US, Long Beach and Los Angeles can benefit tremendously from the eHighway system, significantly reducing emissions from commercial trucks that normally contribute to much of the air pollution in this region,” said Matthias Schlelein, president of Siemens Mobility and Logistics division in the US.

“These intricate logistical hubs need to meet increasing local and global demand for goods, and by improving the transportation systems in and around the Port, we hope to help them meet this demand through the use of sophisticated and innovative electrification technology while at the same time improving the local environmental conditions like air quality.”

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