Hitachi Rail Successfully Tests First Battery-Powered Tram

Hitachi Rail has tested its first battery-powered tram in Florence, Italy.

Most trams run under overhead wires, which come with a greater initial capital outlay and are visually unattractive. Battery trams can reduce the visual impact in urban areas, which is especially interesting in historic city centres such as Florence.

Hitachi Rail battery tram
Hitachi Rail’s battery-powered tram being tested in Florence

For the trial, Hitachi Rail installed battery packs on an existing Hitachi Sirio tram so that it could run on battery power for part of the route. The system also includes regenerative braking, meaning that power generated by braking is returned to the battery packs.

The battery tram ran between Alamanni and Fortezza in revenue service on lines T1 and T2.

Andrea Pepi, Head of Sales and Projects Italy, Hitachi Rail, said:

“Our aim is to use our technology and our work to help build a sustainable society and contribute to the well-being of people around the world by improving their quality of life.

“This is a key milestone as we pioneer this new technology that allow us to work with our customers to reduce infrastructure costs while still offering environmentally-friendly public transport. We hope this successful trial in Italy creates new opportunities for us across the world.”

This tram is part of a growing list of battery products that Hitachi is developing, such as the announced trial of a battery train in the United Kingdom.

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