A Test Track Near the Port of Los Angeles is Electrifying Truckers

Engineers are electrifying the trucking industry in Carson with a new eHighway that would allow trucks to depend more on electricity than on diesel fuel. 

The two mile test track has been set up near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and uses technology from Siemens that electrify highway lanes via overhead wires. The trucks are supplied with power similar to how modern-day trolleys or streetcars are powered on many city streets. The system also allows the trucks to operate normally outside of the electrified sections. 

Matt Miyasato is a scientist with South Coast Air Quality Management District and he says the benefits of the eHighway are massive. 

"Clean air, reduced NOX emissions, and also energy efficiency. And how we can make it more sustainable for goods movement." 

Allowing the trucks to operate on electric power would also help with the basin's smog problem Miyasato said. 

"Most of the smog forming emissions in our basin are from on-road heavy-duty trucks. So we're constantly looking for new technologies to reduce that burden here on the south coast." 

The system is expected to lower fossil fuel consumption, reduce a trucker's operating costs, and substaintially reduce smog-forming, toxic and CO2 emissions that are a part of transporting cargo by truck. 

The $13.5 million project is jointly funded between the SCAQMD and settlements from various shipping and city agencies. 

Siemens has already launched a similar system on public roads in Sweden. 

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