Universal Studios Hollywood has converted four of its Studio Tour trams to electric, with a fifth hitting the tour route by early June and the rest of the 21-tram fleet expected to be electric by early 2025.
For over 55 years, the world-famous, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour has taken millions of guests through Universal’s iconic movie and television production sets and attractions such as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” and “King Kong 360 3-D.”
According to Universal Studios Hollywood Senior Vice President, Operations & Technical Services Glen Connally, the theme park had several goals for this project, including reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the guest experience.
“At Universal Studios Hollywood, we’ve always wanted to be strong corporate citizens,” he explained. “Secondly, the company has a broad sustainability goal, so it clearly fits within [both].”
Connally also noted that the electric trams are significantly quieter than their diesel counterparts, making it easier for passengers to hear videos, tour guide commentary, and audio components of in-tour attractions.
Thanks to WAVE (Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification) technology, the electric trams – identified by the green lettering on their sides – charge on wireless inductive pads while guests load and unload at the start and end of the attraction route (with no disruption of regular operation). Plus, a regenerative braking feature takes advantage of the tour route’s 200-foot elevation change and allows the trams to continue to build up charge when they travel downhill, providing added energy efficiency.
The conversion of the park’s trams from diesel-hydraulic to electric – the result of a collaboration between Universal Studios Hollywood and L.A.-based Complete Coach Works – represents some of the first-ever and largest battery-powered, off-road, high-torque, and low-speed mass people movers in the U.S. and is supported by a grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District and a significant investment from Comcast NBCUniversal and Southern California Edison through its Charge Ready Transport Program.
“It is truly so exciting to see initiatives like Universal Studios Hollywood’s new fleet of electric Studio Tour trams come to fruition — initiatives that show our public and private entities working together to do our part to combat air quality and climate change,” said L.A. Councilmember Nithya Raman. “As a new member of the South Coast Air Quality Management Board, I am looking to broaden these types of collaborations and accelerate the positive impacts they will have for our region and world. Our climate crisis demands we do this.”
Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour guests will also see a new video introduction from Al Roker, weather and feature anchor of NBC’s “Today” and “3rd Hour of Today” co-host.
“The Universal Studio Tour has always been a groundbreaking attraction with lots of thrills, excitement, and scary moments,” Roker said. “I’m honored to be part of an experience for adults and children to learn about these best-in-class electric trams that will transport them around this iconic studio lot and help the environment.”
Click here to learn more about Comcast NBCUniversal’s environmental efforts and commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2035.