eHighway Technology – This sounds fascinating!

Posted on May 16, 2012. Filed under: energy, innovation | Tags: , , |

With a little luck and some DOE funding, Los Angeles may be the first  city in the world to adopt a new electric freight trucking system,  introduced by Siemens Corp. at the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium, or EVS26.

Siemens is working to implement a pilot highway electrification project (eHighway) along Interstate 710, using overhed electrical wires to transmit energy to specially outfitted, hybrid trucks moving freight from the ports of Long Beach and L.A. to inland destinations.

The eHighway system uses diesel hybrid trucks outfitted with software that senses when an overhead electrical line is available and automatically connects or disconnects as needed. When the trucks’ rooftop connectors are attached to the electrical lines, the trucks run entirely on electricity. When the connectors are lowered, they run on a hybrid electric propulsion system similar to the Toyota Prius.

In addition to reducing emissions, the trucks also reduce noise pollution. But there is a downside: Siemens estimates the system will cost between $5 million and $7 million per mile to build.  Hence the need for a real-world pilot program.  Just imagine the possibilities.

Source: “An electrifying freight solution on the 710? Siemens working on it“, Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2012.

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