CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Transit vehicle manufacturer Kinkisharyo unveiled its latest product today, a hybrid streetcar that can operate for periods without power from overhead wires. Labeled the ameriTRAM, the streetcar is a modern, 100 percent low-floor design that uses batteries to store electricity, enabling it to operate without overhead wires for limited durations.
The car was revealed to the public in Charlotte, where the manufacturer had been testing the vehicle.
The ameriTRAM is powered by a system Kinkisharyo calls e-Bird. During normal operation, the car is propelled via electricity from an overhead wire, as with conventional streetcars. It also uses this electricity to charge lithium-ion batteries on the car. These batteries can propel the car up to five miles without the use of power from an overhead wire, and can be recharged from regenerative braking as well.
Kinkisharyo believes that the ability to operate without overhead wire will place make its streetcar a better offering for American cities. The ameriTRAM would be able to operate in areas where installing wire would be unsightly, such as historic districts. In addition, low bridges and other overhead barriers would no longer hinder installation of a line. Cost savings were also cited, noting that each mile of line not requiring catenary wires saves $1 million to $2 million.
“AmeriTRAM is not a foreign or outdated design forced to work in North America,” says Rainer Hombach, vice president and general manager of KINKISHARYO International. “AmeriTRAM’s 100 percent low-floor, energy-efficient and cost effective design is uniquely engineered for North America’s sustainable cities.”
To be sure, that is where Kinkisharyo International, L.L.C is set to unveil the prototype of its new LFX-300, a low-floor, dual-powered “hybrid” streetcar specifically designed for North America. The LFX-300 can run on an overhead …
Publish Date: 12/07/2010 22:47
The KINKISHARYO low-floor, dual-powered ‘hybrid‘ street car can run via overhead catenary wire or on battery power and was designed with historic areas in mind.
Publish Date: 12/06/2010 15:00