The Ports of LA and Long Beach have debuted a new green drayage system called eHighway, a combination of electric and hybrid trolley-trucks connected to overhead electrical power lines. The one-mile, six-month-long project is expected to cut energy consumption in half and reduce local air pollution in the tightly-regulated LA airshed. Its operators gave a public demonstration along Alameda Street on Wednesday.
Technology firm Siemens built the $13 million system, and Siemens and Mack Trucks developed a demonstration vehicle for the project. Siemens also is supplying current collectors – the technology that allows trucks to connect and disconnect from the catenary system – to California truck integrators whose vehicles are also part of the demonstration.
Siemens has installed a comparable demonstration project on a two-kilometer, single-lane section of the E16 highway north of Stockholm, Sweden. It is also planning a 10-kilometer system on Germany's A5 autobahn, not far from the Frankfurt airport.
Financing for the LA/Long Beach system was provided by the Port of Long Beach, LA Metro, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and from the proceeds of a legal settlement between residents' associations and the Port of LA over China Shipping’s vessel emissions. $4 million of this settlement went to the South Coast Air Quality Management District to help cover the cost of the six-month demonstration project.