Building the world’s first eHighway in California

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 9:00 am EDT

Category:

By:

Kevin Riddett, President, Siemens Mobility

Last August, Siemens announced it would build the world’s first eHighway project in California near the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the two largest ports in the U.S. Today, I’m pleased to report that eHighway construction is now underway. 

This first-of-its-kind system will use electricity delivered via overhead lines to electrify road lanes and provide clean and efficient power to trucks. Using electricity to power the heavy-duty trucks that travel on the 1-mile stretch near the ports will result in significantly reduced emissions and lower noise pollution.

If you travel near Alameda Street and Sepulveda Boulevard in the city of Carson, a suburb of Los Angeles, you’ll see infrastructure for the first eHighway project taking shape.

  • We’ve begun work to install the test track located on an off-shoot of Alameda Street where we’ll also house the substation that will power the overhead lines.
  • Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll install the overhead poles and lines on the 1-mile corridor of Alameda Street that will become the eHighway.

We’re thrilled to mark this project milestone along with our partner the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The technology, similar to trolley systems or streetcars with overhead lines, allows these intricate logistical hubs need to meet increasing local and global demand for goods. By improving the transportation systems in and around the Ports, these hubs can better meet the growing demand through the use of sophisticated and innovative electrification technology.

Moving freight efficiently and economically, while remaining environmentally conscious, is a challenge, but it is one we believe that eHighway will help solve. Siemens’ Steffen Goeller, the head of our Rail Electrification business, highlighted eHighway as a technology that could shape next-generation transportation systems at last week’s ITS America Freight Symposium in Los Angeles.

Goeller noted in his panel Moving Freight into the Future that “this California project is crucial to understanding how electricity can answer today’s transportation challenges. By installing the technology in a real-world scenario, it can be evaluated with a view of how it can be scaled up not only to connect the ports, but possibly on surrounding freeways and in other cities.”

We know that technologies like eHighway will make the future of transportation more clear and we’re excited to move a step closer to the system opening in fall 2015. We look forward to continue serving as a technology partner for the Los Angeles region to bring the world’s most efficient, advanced and innovative transportation technology to the state of California.