Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a train specialist that supplies transport firms across the world from London to Tokyo, has come up with a new kind of tram battery that could completely do away with overhead power lines.
The latest version of Kawasaki's existing Swimo streetcar includes an advanced nickel-hydrogen battery that recharges in less than ten seconds - that's sixty times quicker than existing options for trams.
Dock and go
As a result, the company says tram operators could remove overhead power cables and instead charge their trolleys through platform power docks at each station where they stop.
Thus, with much of the automotive industry expected to move to lithium-ion batteries, the older nickel-hydrogen technology may yet have a role in clean transportation.
Kawasaki says it plans to run a trial in Japan before aiming for a commercial debut of the new super battery in around five years.