Siemens Mobility Battery Hybrid Streetcars Enter Service in Charlotte

Siemens Mobility’s battery hybrid S700 streetcars have entered service in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The streetcars now operating on the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) were manufactured in Sacramento, CA. They feature hybrid technology with a battery storage system to allow the streetcars to run through the city centre without the need for overhead lines. In total, Siemens Mobility delivered six S700 streetcars, bringing the number of vehicles operated by CATS up to 48 – the remaining 42 are S70 LRVs.

Michael Peter, CEO, Siemens Mobility, said:

“We are delighted to once again partner with Charlotte to help them meet their growing mobility needs by delivering our market leading streetcar platform that incorporates the most innovative and intelligent technologies available.

“Sustainable transportation is one of the most important features for growing cities. Our battery hybrid vehicles provide CATS and its passengers with an energy efficient mobility solution that not only improves the overall availability of transportation, but also offers a comfortable ride and enhanced passenger experience.”

The hybrid wireless technology allows the streetcars to run both with overhead lines and without, using an onboard energy storage system (OESS). This system has an expandable, modular design so that it can be updated as battery technology improves. The batteries recharge when the LRVs are operating under overhead lines. Siemens Mobility first demonstrated this technology in San Diego. The streetcars will operate at speeds of up to 25mph. Each one has a capacity of almost 195.

Siemens Mobility S700 Streetcar for Charlotte, USA
Siemens Mobility S700 Streetcar for Charlotte, USA

Additional features include an unobstructed floor design to make more room for bicycles and wheelchairs, an automatic passenger counter with 3D infrared sensor technology, and traffic light preemption technology.

Charlotte City Council chose Siemens Mobility to build the new streetcars in 2016. The Charlotte Area Transit System operates across Mecklenburg County as well as four other surrounding counties in North Carolina.

The streetcars for Charlotte operate on the second phase of the CityLYNX Gold Line. They are replacing the green and yellow trolleys that have come to the end of their life. The Gold Line is now 4 miles long and has 17 stations. There are also plans for a third phase expansion of the line.

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