United Streetcar model, targeting the "Buy America" market. Image credit:Oregon Iron Works.
For most of a century, 'Government Motors' (a.k.a. "GM") focused on street cars of the free-roaming, gasoline powered sort, to the exclusion of the mass-transit variety: the real "streetcar." It was a strategic marketing choice. Turnabout time: streetcars are a growth market opportunity. But, which manufacturers will supply them? United Streetcar, LLC, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, Inc. makes a real streetcar, the sort that can help make urban culture sustainable. Many US cities are reported to be considering adding streetcars - and they are interested in Made in the USA, due in part to requirements of the Federal stimulus package. Definitely a green job category to watch. More below.United Streetcar, LLC
is a company established to serve the transit market through support from Oregon Iron Works, Inc. This company will focus on building streetcars and supplying them to cities across North America intending to build new streetcar lines or expand their fleet of streetcars on existing tracks.
A hot chartreuse model. Image credit:United Streetcar.
Per United, the basic design is licensed from a Czech streetcar company.
OIW signed an exclusive technology transfer agreement with a well known European manufacturer of rail vehicles, SKODA, from the Czech Republic. OIW signed the agreement with SKODA in February 2006. The contract gave United Streetcar, LLC the latest European technology in rail vehicle design and electric traction equipment and products for the United States.This follows a familiar pattern.
Vestas, the European wind turbine producer, led the world in design of tall, slow turning, high capacity designs. (Seems like all the prototype wind farm projects I saw 5 years ago featured Vestas.) Now, there are multiple manufacturers chasing the wind farm dollar, all following Vesta's design ideas.
What European green technology will next make inroads to the USA?
Which crumbling US manufacturing behemoth will miss the opportunity because they are stuck in a 1950's mindset?
For more streetcar posts, read on.
Streetcars Back on Rails in America
Seattle's Streetcar: Modern, Efficient, Mass Transit (Video ...
A Street Car To Desire: Imagine Trolleys With Hypercapacitors And ...
The TH Interview: Andy Kunz, New Urbanist
5 Great Green Ways US Cities Are Leading by Example.