German technology company Siemens Mobility and state-owned railway operator Deutsche Bahn have started developing hydrogen-powered fuel cell trains and a filling station which will be trialled in 2024 with view to replace diesel engines on German local rail networks. It is reported by Reuters with reference to the statement of two companies.
Siemens mobility chief executive Michael Peter told that the train combined the possibility to be fed by three sources in a modular system - either by the battery, the fuel cell or even existing overhead lines, depending on where it would run.
The prototype, to be built by Siemens, is based on electric railcar Mireo Plus which will be equipped with fuel cells to turn hydrogen and oxygen into electricity on board, and with a battery, both companies said.
The new prototype will be fuelled within 15 minutes, have a range of 600 km and a top speed of 160 km/hour. It will be tested between Tuebingen, Horb and Pforzheim in Baden Wuerttemberg state. The main target market are operators of regional networks that typically re-order lots of 10 to 50 trains, Peter said.
“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.
Each train will cost between five and 10 million euros ($5.9-$11.9 million), creating a market potential of 50-150 billion euros overall.
The Berlin government expects green hydrogen to become competitive with fossil fuels over the long term and to play a key role in decarbonising industry, heating and transport.
As we reported earlier, Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop has completed the world’s first passenger ride on a super high-speed levitating pod system.
Virgin Hyperloop executives Josh Giegel, its Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, reached speeds of up to 107 miles per hour (172 km per hour) at the company’s DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, Nevada.