Successful Test Runs of Battery-Powered Tram Pave Way to SWIMO LRV Development

Aug. 30, 2006

Tram used for battery-drive testing Super-low floor LRV SWIMO
Tram used for battery-drive testing Super-low floor LRV SWIMO
under development



 Tokyo, August 30, 2006 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has completed successful test runs of a tram car powered by its proprietary nickel metal-hydride GIGACELL* battery, for use in next-generation light rail vehicles (LRV).

 The tests were conducted at Kawasaki’s Hyogo Works, Hyogo Prefecture, using an existing tram retrofitted with a GIGACELL. The fundamental features of the Gigacell, customized for Kawasaki’s under-development SWIMO (Smooth WIn MOver) LRV, were confirmed and the tram was able to operate for over 10 km without requiring charging.

 SWIMO enhances energy efficiency by utilizing regenerative electric power. The super-low floor LRV makes it easier for passengers to board, as well as being an environment-friendly transportation system. After this confirmation of the feasibility of the GIGACELL application, Kawasaki plans to complete a SWIMO test car in 2007, followed by completion of the detailed designs for the bogie and body, which are key technologies.

 Train transport has enjoyed renewed attention as an energy-efficient, low CO2-emissions, environment-friendly solution to existing systems, which have contributed to grave environmental problems. Next-generation LRVs are especially appealing in Japan, offering a barrier-free, low-impact urban traffic alternative.

*GIGACELL is a trademark, or registered trademark of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. in JAPAN and U.S.