Siemens Tram-Trucks Cruise Near LA Port

 09 Nov 2017 11.15am

State agencies are demonstrating Siemens’ tram-like electrification technology for heavy duty trucks as part of a US$13 million project near Los Angeles Port.

Three trucks have begun hauling freight along a one-mile stretch of highway on South Alameda Street in Carson, near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The trucks operate on a section of highway using overhead lines electrifying the trucks.

Trucks take electricity from the system while under it, but they can also detach and drive away from the electrified infrastructure.

A battery-electric truck, a natural gas-augmented electric truck and a diesel-hybrid truck are now driving on a one-mile system.

The natural gas hybrid and electric trucks have been developed by Escondido-based TransPower and the diesel hybrid was developed by Volvo's subsidiary, Mack Trucks.

Trucks using the system may be powered either by diesel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), batteries or other on-board energy sources when driving outside of the electric lines.

Read a related paper by AECOM on how using electric tractors eliminated 53% of emissions at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Orange County’s air pollution control agency, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and German engineering company Siemens are running the demo.

They aim to develop a zero- or near-zero goods movement system in the ports.

This should reduce smog-forming, toxic and greenhouse gas emissions in communities around the ports, Siemens said.

This is the first installation of such a system in the US: Siemens launched the world's first eHighway system on public roads near Stockholm, Sweden in June 2016.

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Infographic explaining the California project's specifications

In addition, three field trials of the eHighway technology on German highways are planned to start operation in 2019.

The project is funded using $2.5 million from SCAQMD, 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 has provided a $1.3 million in-kind contribution and the US EPA is providing $500K for the TransPower contract.

Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD's Executive Officer said: "This project will help us evaluate the feasibility of a zero-emission cargo movement system using overhead catenary wires.

"This demonstration could lead to the deployment of eHighway systems that will reduce pollution and benefit public health for residents living near the ports."

Roland Edel, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens Mobility Division said: "Every day, Americans rely on the goods and services that are carried by freight. This mode of transportation is predicted to double global CO2 emissions by 2050.

"Our eHighway technology has the capacity to double efficiency in comparison to regular diesel-powered trucks. This in turn cuts energy consumption in two and reduces local air pollution around America's largest harbors."

Read more: Siemens' new installation of eHighway near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was agreed in 2014.

  Environment , Port Governance, Port Planning, Security and Logistics