Japanese streetcar runs on NiMH batteries

Japanese streetcar runs on NiMH batteries


While we here in North America seem to be working on new and alternative ways to power our cars — be it biodiesel, ethanol, or gas-electric hybrids — it seems that researchers in Japan are working on something of a grander scale. Instead of just moving around a person or two, they want to move dozens at a time.

The SWIMO streetcar, developed by Kawazaki Heavy Industry, acts much like the streetcars you’d find in San Francisco, except with one significant difference: it runs solely on Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries.

It doesn’t cover all that much distance — a single charge will keep it going for about 10 kilometres (just a touch over 6 miles) — but if you imagine it getting a quick boost at each station, the SWIMO (Smoothy WIns MOver) can serve a major metropolitan area without too much trouble.

The plan is to implement the streetcar in Japan early next year.