Berlin, September 19, 2012. Deutsche Bahn and Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH (MTU) have converted a diesel-mechanical power car from the VT 642 series into a hybrid vehicle as part of a joint research project. Today, Rainer Bomba, State Secretary from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS), Dr. Volker Kefer, DB Head of Rail Technology and Infrastructure and Dr. Ulrich Dohle, CTO at Tognum AG, unveiled the vehicle to the public at Innotrans 2012.
The new drive system from MTU – a hybrid Powerpack – uses a generator to convert the kinetic energy generated during braking into electrical energy. This electrical energy is temporarily stored in batteries and then used as required for operation. The aim here is to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by up to 25%.
The undertaking has been financially supported by the BMVBS as part of the project “Electromobility Model Region”, coordinated by the National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW GmbH). At the previous Innotrans in 2010, the Federal Ministry of Transport presented the project partners with the approval for grant assistance to the tune of €1.9 billion for the development of the hybrid drive in light rail vehicles.
“We need new mobility and vehicle concepts for an environmental and climate friendly future. And playing a big part here will be the corresponding alternative drives. The Federal Ministry of Transport is thus funding a whole host of projects nationwide for the transport of people and goods on both road and rail. Once the hybrid system has established itself and is ready for series production, hundreds of these power cars could be converted to diesel-electric drive with energy storage in Germany, thus contributing to the reduction of harmful greenhouse gases and lowering energy costs,” says State Secretary Bomba.
“Deutsche Bahn has consistently anchored sustainable activities in its new DB2020 group strategy. We want to be eco-pioneers and reduce our specific CO2 emissions by 20% before 2020,” explains Dr. Volker Kefer, Member of the Management Board responsible for Rail Technology and Infrastructure at DB. “In order to continue with the dynamic development of the railway, we need marketable innovation. This hybrid technology provides us with an opportunity to further drive energy efficient and ecologically sustainable rail transport.”
“With the MTU hybrid Powerpack, Tognum has developed a clean, quiet and economical rail drive unit,” says Tognum CTO, Dr. Ulrich Dohle. “We recorded fuel savings of up to 25% during our research which is good for both the operator and the environment.”
The project is not only looking to score green points with its hybrid technology, but also its new environmentally friendly CO2 air-conditioning system built into the vehicle, which aims to reduce energy consumption by up to 10%. The vehicle was converted at the DB Heavy Maintenance plant in Kassel and is currently undergoing the necessary tests required for approval from the Federal Railway Authority. The vehicle will be used on the non-electrified Aschaffenburg – Miltenberg line in Bavaria, which is particularly suitable for the hybrid drive due to the short distances between stops and the frequent starting and stopping manoeuvres this involves.
MTU at Innotrans 2012
Visit us in Hall 20, Stand 303, and see the MTU hybrid Powerpack. The VT642 hybrid vehicle is on display on the open-air ground at railway track G1/30 (Deutsche Bahn).