MackSiemens Photo: Mack Trucks

Mack Trucks shows off ‘eHighway’ electrified tractor

The vehicle, part of a Siemens-led demonstration project, can be powered via overhead electric lines.

Mack Trucks showed off a prototype tractor this week that can attached to overhead power lines like a trolley and run on electricity – part of a zero-emission “eHighway” demonstration in Carson, CA.

Tested near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as part of a project with Siemens that is sponsored by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the truck taps into electricity via overhead power lines – what’s called a “catenary system” similar to those used to power streetcars.

Jonathan Randall, Mack senior vice president of North American sales, said the goal of the project is to reduce air pollution at freight-intensive locations, such as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – two of the largest ports in the U.S.

“Mack was pleased to participate in the catenary demo,” Randall said in a statement. “Mack continuously investigates alternative solutions to diesel, and the catenary system is just one of a number of projects in which we are currently involved.”

Siemens installed its eHighway infrastructure – a system it has been working on for five years – along one mile of select highway lanes with its catenary system. Mack has been involved with Siemens since 2014 in this project.

The Mack prototype used in the eHighway demonstrations is a Pinnacle daycab equipped with a proprietary plug-in hybrid electric driveline. That driveline of the truck can then be powered by the overhead electric lines, with a special “collector” supplied by Siemens transferring energy directly into the vehicle’s driveline.

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