With testing of its prototype now finalized, Kinkisharyo International L.L.C. unveiled on Thursday its newly-named streetcar, ameriTRAM, to the public at a special ceremony in Charlotte, N.C.
The supplier of low-floor, light rail vehicles in North America, announced the LFX-300 - its prototype of the 100 percent low-floor, electro-hybrid streetcar, specifically designed for North America - has completed engineering tests and trials and is ready for the North American market.
ameriTRAM is a 100 percent low-floor streetcar that uses e-Brid, a propulsion technology that enables operation powered by overhead catenary or on-board lithium-ion batteries. e-Brid charges the batteries while running on catenary power. In battery mode, e-Brid uses electricity stored from regenerative braking. Depending on conditions, ameriTRAM can run on battery power for up to five miles.
Less electrification equipment and maintenance means that e-Brid saves municipalities millions of dollars in capital investment and operational costs, including $1 to $2 million for every mile of catenary avoided. Eliminating overhead catenary wires allows ameriTRAM to serve sensitive historic preservation areas, or where installing overhead wires is not practical, such as under low bridges.
Also, because e-Brid enables battery-powered operation for up to five miles, ameriTRAM delivers immediate savings through lower power consumption and also eliminates harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
ameriTRAM was specifically engineered for North America and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Buy America, NFPA-130 and ASME RT-1. Additionally, ameriTRAM has a modular design and can be expanded to comprise up to seven cars without increasing a municipality's fleet size.