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Electric cable-powered trucks to be tested in California next year

| August 13, 2014

Intelligenter Stromabnehmer ermöglicht volle Flexibilität des Lkw / Intelligent pantograph enables full vehicle flexibilityA two-mile demonstration project using overhead cables to power electric trucks is slated to begin in California in July 2015.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has selected Siemens to install its eHighway system in Carson for the year-long project. The company is developing a demonstration vehicle with Volvo Group and Mack, as well as California truck integrators, whose vehicles will be included in the demonstration.


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The system will electrify selected traffic lanes in two directions through an overhead cable system, similar to how modern streetcars are powered on city streets.

During the demonstration phase, up to four eHighway trucks will travel the route daily, equipped with a hybrid drive system and intelligent current collectors. On roads without overhead cables, the vehicles use a hybrid drive system which can be powered by diesel, compressed natural gas, an on-board battery or with other energy sources.

The current collector enables the vehicles to overtake and automatically connect and disconnect at speeds of more than 55 mph. The catenary infrastructure will be installed on the North and South-bound sections of Alameda Street where it intersects with Sepulveda Boulevard. Up to four trucks will run in the demonstration, making multiple drives per day.

  • Douglas

    So they are going to pay 13 million for a two mile section, you have to buy a new truck to run that section, more equipment on the truck which will lower the payload. Makes perfect Californicate sense?

  • Zach Hoefs

    Sounds about right. Let’s just give Commiefornia back to Mexico

  • Deez Nuts

    I guess they haven’t watched the hundreds of vids showing Europeans snagging and crashing into these power lines. It’s not idiot proof and California is full of idiots.

  • localnet

    Unreal… My God has our country regressed or what? 100 year old technology? May as well slap some windmills on the roof too… Only in California… Let the rolling circus begin!

  • Pingback: Overhead electric lines power trucks in California test | Truckers News

  • Rusty LugNut

    The ignorance of these boards is appalling. And you wonder why no one is attracted to the truck driving trade? Ignorance and racism abound.

    This article is about “experimental studies” that may or may not be viable in decades to come. But, we do have to look for solutions when fossil fuel becomes too expensive to use as our main motive power source.

  • Robert (Electricman) Weekley

    Based on some of the comments below, Just Curious, what would the Trucking Industry do – if it had to meet similar ZEV % of Sales Requirements – to sell Trucks to California Trucking Companies, as car Makers have to do to sell cars there?

    I Guess Some people prefer the LA Basin Smog as a way to reduce the traffic, due to its effect in killing people!

    It is easier to make this system – so Trucks can be Hybrids with a Grid Power source for long runs, than it would be to make large trucks all Battery Electric, and will be for some time. Also, some of the Fastest (Most Power Hungry) High Speed Trains are using this type of power input – Not exactly Old School, like old TTC Trolley Wires, these can handle far more misalignment issues and still deliver contact! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.