Business Essentials for Professionals


Local Hydrogen Trains Trial Launched By Siemens And Deutsche Bahn

Local Hydrogen Trains Trial Launched By Siemens And Deutsche Bahn
Development of trains that are powered by fuel cells that have hydrogen as the fuel has been started by Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn. The two companies are also developing a filling station which will be trialled in 2024. The aim of the companies is to replace diesel engines in trains in the local rail networks in Germany.
Electric railcar Mireo Plus is the basis for the development of the prototype which is to be built by Siemens. This prototype will be fitted with fuel cells that use hydrogen and oxygen as raw materials and turn their chemical reactions into electricity as well as a battery, both the companies said.
In a modular system, there is the possibility of the train being powered by three sources of power or a combination of them - either by the battery, the fuel cell or even existing overhead lines, said Siemens mobility chief executive Michael Peter to the media. The usage and the combination will depend on the place where the trains would run and the availability of one or more of the power sources.
About 40 per cent of the 33,000 kilometre long network operated by the German railway operator Deutsche Bahn has not yet been electrified and therefore 1,300 fossil-fuel emitting diesel locomotives are used to run the trains on those portions of the network.
According to the European Union and national climate targets, the target is to completely decarbonize rail transport over the long-term.
"Our hydrogen trains are able to replace diesel-fuelled trains in the long term," Peter said.
The new prototype can be refuelled within just 15 minutes and will have a range of 600 km on a single refuel, allowing the train to sun at a top speed of 160 km/hour.
The companies plans to test run the prototype between Tuebingen, Horb and Pforzheim in Baden Wuerttemberg state of Germany.
Peter said that the operators of regional networks that typically re-order lots of 10 to 50 trains are the main target market of the new green powered trains.
"We see a market potential of 10,000-15,000 trains in Europe that will need to be replaced over the next 10-15 years, with 3,000 alone in Germany," he said.
The cost of each of the trains will be between five and 10 million euros ($5.9-$11.9 million) which equates to a total market potential of between 50 and 150 billion euros on the overall.
The target of the German government is to make green hydrogen as fuel competitive to fossil fuels over the long term and to to play a key role in decarbonising industry, heating and transport.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc