Trains Fueled by Hydrogen will Operate in Germany

Highlights :

  • The fuel cell and lithium ion battery-powered two-carriage vehicles are expected to be delivered in the fall of 2024.
  • A 10-year service and spare parts contract that is valid until 2034 is part of the order.

Hydrogen-based technology is being used in rail transport. The latest example is Germany’s Siemens Mobility, which is building several trains fueled by hydrogen for the transport network in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area.

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On Monday (27th June) Siemens Mobility stated that Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn has ordered seven of its Mireo Plus H trains from the company. The two-carriage vehicles will run on fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries. These are expected to be delivered in the fall of 2024.

The Heidekrautbahn network will begin operating in December 2024. A 10-year service and spare parts contract that lasts until 2034 is also included in the purchase order.

These Hydrogen-based trains / fueled by hydrogen will provide “totally CO2 emission-free mobility,” according to Siemens Mobility, a separately managed subsidiary of the industrial behemoth Siemens, and will have a top speed of 160 kph (around 99 mph).

A cooperative pilot project includes the network’s introduction of Hydrogen-based trains. This initiative is supported by the states of Berlin and Brandenburg & the federal government.

The International Energy Agency refers to hydrogen as a “versatile energy carrier,” & it has a wide range of uses in many industries, including transportation.

Rail is “one of the most energy-efficient transport modalities,” according to the IEA. It is responsible for 9% of all motorised passenger travel globally and 7% of all freight. Instead of this, it just consumes 3% of all transport energy use.

However, it does rely heavily on oil, which in 2020 accounted for 55% of the sector’s overall energy consumption. Oil use in rail would have to decrease to “nearly nil” by the middle of the century to achieve the IEA’s scenario of a net-zero energy system by the year 2050.

Siemens Mobility is one of the companies creating hydrogen-powered trains. Others include the East Japan Railway and the European railroad corporation Alstom. The latter has already run passenger trains Fueled by Hydrogen in Germany and Austria.

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