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Siemens Unveils California’s New Electric Highway

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Although electric roads have been a popular recent concept, they have remained largely in the context of research contexts as innovators fine-tune the designs. Thanks to Siemens, California now boasts the first electric highway in the United States. The one-mile stretch spans the main transportation route between the busy ports of Long Beach and LA.

The electric highway utilizes a concept called “dynamic charging.” Although new to the US, this design has already manifested itself in Sweden. Siemens’ design is comprised of overhead wires and extended arms attached to the trucks which tap into the system’s electricity, very similarly to how a streetcar works. Per the company, California’s electric highway will involve diesel-hybrid, battery-electric, and natural-gas hybrid trucks.

The motivation for Siemens’ design was to help curb smog-forming emissions in the southern zone of California, primarily caused by heavy-duty trucks. The new design will help the state reduce its overall carbon footprint.

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Wayne Nastri, executive officer of South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), expresses pride in the new, eco-friendly route: “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.”

Siemens’ innovative concept comes in the context of other companies who are catalyzing electric vehicle technology, including the trucking and transportation industry. Komatsu is tweaking its e-dumper concept which would transform conventional dump trucks. The USPS and the University of Michigan are set to release their self-driving mail truck model this winter.

We anticipate more news on Siemens’ newly-launched electric highway which promises to further propel California’s current initiatives to reduce emissions statewide.

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News Source: Forbes