Siemens, Deutsche Bahn plan trial of hydrogen-powered prepare


The Deutsche Bahn AG emblem photographed on the Bahntower, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin.

Christoph Soeder | image alliance | Getty Photographs

Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn have laid out plans to develop and trial a hydrogen fuel-cell prepare, within the newest instance of main corporations turning to a expertise which may have a big impact on the environmental footprint of transportation techniques.

In keeping with a joint announcement issued earlier this week, the trial is slated to start in 2024 and can see a prepare journey between Tübingen, Horb and Pforzheim within the southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The prototype prepare, generally known as Mireo Plus H, will use a fuel-cell and lithium ion battery. Made up of two carriages, its vary will lengthen to as a lot as 600 kilometers, or a little bit beneath 373 miles. It’s going to boast a high velocity of 160 kilometers per hour.

When the year-long pilot will get underway, the hydrogen prepare will take the place of a diesel one. It is hoped the trial will save roughly 330 tons of carbon dioxide.

The collaboration will even look to work on the related infrastructure the prepare will want.

To this finish, Deutsche Bahn is to partially refit one in all its upkeep retailers to service the prepare and also will develop a fueling station for the car.

Utilizing electrolysis, water can be cut up into oxygen and hydrogen, with the latter compressed then saved in a cell unit. The electrical energy used on this course of will come from renewable sources.

Assist for the initiative is coming from the state authorities of Baden-Württemberg. Funding is because of come from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

For the time being, Deutsche Bahn has roughly 1,300 diesel-powered trains getting used on regional routes. As well as, round 40% of its sprawling 33,000 kilometer community is just not but electrified.

“Particularly on non-electrified routes, hydrogen gasoline cell propulsion can develop into a climate-friendly different to diesel propulsion,” Winfried Hermann, who’s Baden-Württemberg’s minister of transport, mentioned in a press release Monday. “Whether or not powered by overhead line electrical energy or hydrogen – the decisive issue is that the vitality comes from renewable sources,” he added.

Considered one of many tasks

The partnership between Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn comes at a time when numerous tasks centered on hydrogen-powered transport are taking form.

Corporations equivalent to Alstom have also developed trains which use hydrogen fuel-cells, while other examples include aircraft, buses and cars.

In comments sent to CNBC via email a spokesperson for Transport & Environment, a campaign group focused on clean transport, emphasized the need to ensure hydrogen was used in a mixture of transport options.

“Rail in Europe is already largely electrified, so it is not where the big environmental gains are to be made,” they said.

“We need hydrogen in transport where batteries aren’t possible,” they added. “First and foremost, that means shipping and aviation. For long-haul trucks, the race is wide open.”

The spokesperson went on to state: “The biggest obstacle facing us is making sure that hydrogen is made from clean electricity. Producing hydrogen from fossil gas is not clean. We need to make sure it’s based on additional, renewable electricity.”

Interest in green hydrogen — a term used to refer to hydrogen that’s produced using renewable sources such as wind and solar — has started to increase in recent years. 

A number of major players such as Orsted and BP are undertaking projects looking at the sector, while the European Union has laid out plans to install 40 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolysers and produce as much as 10 million metric tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030.

To put the EU’s goals into context, the International Energy Agency says global hydrogen production currently amounts to roughly 70 million metric tons per year.



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