In June 2016, Siemens launched a pilot eHighway system in Sweden – two plug-in hybrid trucks performing en route charging via an overhead catenary.
Now the company, in collaboration with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), is conducting a one-mile eHighway demonstration near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The catenary system, similar to that used by trolleys or streetcars, features an overhead contact line that makes power available to trucks along the road, and an active pantograph located on top of each truck. The pantograph can connect and disconnect automatically with the contact line via a sensor system, allowing the trucks to switch lanes or pass other vehicles without being permanently fixed to the overhead lines.
The eHighway vehicles use a hybrid drive system, which can be powered either by diesel or CNG when driving outside of the catenary lines.
“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.”
“Experts expect global CO2 emissions from road freight traffic to more than double by 2050,” said Andreas Thon, Siemens’ head of Turnkey Projects and Electrification, North America. “This electrified truck system can modernize the existing infrastructure using the latest technology to accommodate the growing amount of freight travel and reduce harmful emissions.”