TRAMS will be able to run for a short distance through Nice without overhead electrification, using power from onboard batteries to be supplied by Saft.

The €2m order to supply high-power Ni-MH batteries was placed with Saft by Alstom, which is building 20 Citadis trams ready for the opening of the 8·7 km tramway in 2007. Line 1 will cross the historic Place Masséna and Place Garibaldi, and the city council was keen to avoid the visual intrusion of wires in the squares or the complexities of a third rail supply.

The batteries will be supplied in compact and maintenance-free ’plug and play’ packages, incorporating active cooling and battery management control. They will be able to power the trams for around 500 m through each unelectrified section.

Saft, France