Georgia Power Electric Trams Transported Athletes In Village

Georgia Power Co., the Official Power Source of the 1996 Olympic Games, donated 70 all-electric trams to move the world’s athletes through various routes within the Olympic Village 24 hours a day during the Games. This is the first time a transportation system has been utilized in an Olympic Village.

The ease of entering and exiting, speeds of up to 15 miles-per-hour and no tailpipe emissions made the all-electric vehicles perfect for meeting transportation demands, while contributing to a clean environment for the more than 10,000 world-class athletes living in the Village.

Inside the Olympic Village, the 36-passenger trams covered a six-mile route with stops at housing, entertainment, shopping, and food service areas, as well as the transportation mall -- where athletes boarded buses to the various venues. The trams transported approximately 50,000 passengers per day and traveled more than 130,000 miles within the Village during the Games, all while producing no tailpipe emissions.

“The Olympic Village and the 1996 Olympic Games benefited from the advancements in electric technology,” said Paul Bowers, Georgia Power’s senior vice president of marketing and executive sponsor for the Southern Company’s electric transportation initiatives. “These vehicles were an ideal application for efficiently transporting passengers in a relatively small area without negatively affecting air quality.”

Each tram is powered by an 80-volt, lead acid battery which allows the tram to operate for about four hours. A supply of 180 spare batteries and the 110 chargers that supported this system made it possible to operate the trams around the clock.

“The Olympic Village provided a unique platform to showcase state-of-the-art electric transportation,” said Bowers. “The Games represented the largest use of electric transportation anywhere -- a global event that began paving the way to a future of clean, quiet and efficient transportation.”

A main goal of Georgia Power’s electric transportation program is to reduce air pollution. This is especially important in major cities such as Atlanta.

As part of its commitment to electric transportation, Georgia Power is taking leadership roles in several industry organizations at the local and national levels. Georgia Power -- as part of the Southern Company -- is also participating in a collaborative effort to provide financial support to the U. S. Advanced Battery Consortium. In addition, Georgia Power has conducted tests at its Electric Vehicle Research Center and is now using the results of these tests to introduce practical applications of these new technologies in both utility and commercial fleets.