As I complete my term as Chair of the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community (TEC), I would like to share some long-term perspective. It has been interesting to watch the progression of transportation electrification over the past 25 years, and especially over the past five as the TEC has started and matured. In spite of the more than 100 year history of electric transportation, electric and hybrid cars were little more than clever demonstration projects even when the EV1 was introduced. Contrast this to the end of 2016, when electrification is a recognized trend, increasingly embraced as a leadership opportunity in many industry sectors. Many cities and governments are implementing supportive policies to reduce air pollution. Several nations are pushing to help form major growth industries in electric transport. Electrification trends and new products in the automotive sector now routinely make headlines, although steady progress continues in nearly all other vehicle and transport sectors. The disruptions of ride-sharing services and local city rentals are reshaping urban transportation in ways that favor electrification. This newsletter issue takes it even farther, with discussions of self-contained electric rail to eliminate wire connections, coming full circle from fully electric rail back to hybrid systems.
Athanasios Iraklis1, Christos Iraklis1, Andreas Hoffrichter2
1Warwick Manufacturing Group, International Manufacturing Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
2Railway Education and Research, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, 3535 Forest Road, Lansing, MI 48910, USA
Abstract- Rail vehicles function as the most efficient and the least polluting means of human and goods transportation on land. Consequently, efforts have to be made towards affordable low-cost expansion of rail networks as one of the most promising solutions for low carbon mobility. The 4Cs (Carbon, Cost, Capacity, Customer) set as goals for railways by the UK Department of Transport require new advanced ways of propulsion; the transfer of expertise and knowledge from other sectors can aid the achievement of these goals. Wayside electrification networks suffer from high installation and maintenance costs, and rail operators struggle with meeting stricter than ever emission regulations, both requiring new forms of advanced propulsion to address these problems. This article discusses the concept of battery electric traction with grid-based or stationary battery bank-based opportunity charging for catenary free operation, as a promising solution for low-cost and emission-free expansion of rail networks, especially for light rail vehicle (LRV) operation.
About the Newsletter
The Transportation Electrification eNewsletter studies topics that span across four main domains: Terrestrial (land based), Nautical (Ocean, lakes and bodies of water), Aeronautical (Air and Space) and Commercial-Manufacturing. Main topics include: Batteries including fuel cells, Advanced Charging, Telematics, Systems Architectures that include schemes for both external interface (electric utility) and vehicle internal layout, Drivetrains, and the Connected Vehicle.