Italy: Hitachi tests first battery-powered tram in Florence

Florence carries out test run of Hitachi's new battery-powered tram.

Hitachi Rail says it has successfully completed trials of its new battery-powered tram in Florence, for the first time in Italy.

The battery-operated model allows for significant savings on infrastructure costs as well as reducing the visual impact of overhead wires, poles and pylons on city streets.

During the tests in Florence, battery packs were fitted to an existing Hitachi-built Sirio tram which travelled under battery power along tracks between Alamanni and Fortezza.

The innovative new technology allows power to be returned to the batteries every time the tram brakes, reducing the overall energy consumption.

Florence mayor Dario Nardella said: “Battery-powered trams can revolutionise this type of service within cities. Public transport, especially in historic centres, will have to be less impactful and increasingly sustainable.”

The global company, the rolling stock manufacturing division of Japan's Hitachi Group, says that it will now work towards marketing battery-operated trams internationally.

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