Posts Tagged ‘Wabtec FLXdrive locomotive’

Battery-Powered Locomotive Moves to Pittsburgh

August 30, 2021

A battery-electric prototype built by Wabtec left Erie, Pennsylvania, on Friday for a an event in Pittsburgh.

The FLXdrive locomotive was accompanied by ET44C6 demonstrator No. 2044.

Both are appearing at the Sept. 10 Freight 2030 event that focuses on the future of railroads.

The battery-powered locomotive had tested earlier this year in California on BNSF.

Wabtec, GM to Develop Loco Power Systems

June 16, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabetc has signed a memorandum of understanding with General Motors to work to develop a battery for use on Wabtec locomotives.

The two companies plan to work to develop GM’s Ultium battery technology and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems.

The systems would be used in Wabtec’s  FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive. A prototype of the unit recently tested on BNSF in California.

In a statement, Wabtec said “by working with GM on Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technologies, we can accelerate the rail industry’s path to decarbonization and pathway to zero-emission locomotives by leveraging these two important propulsion technologies.”

Wabtec said the collaboration will enable Wabtec to take advantage of technology already under development for a variety of highway uses.

GM is constructing battery cell plants in Ohio and Tennessee in a joint venture with LG Energy Solutions, and will manufacture its hydrogen fuel cells in a joint venture with Honda at a plant in Brownstown, Michigan.

Wabtec Shares Data From Battery Locomotive Testing

May 18, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec released findings on Monday showing that its battery-powered locomotive cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 11 percent during testing.

Wabtec’s FLXdrive locomotive tested over 13,000 miles on BNSF in California earlier this year.

The next step in the development of a battery-electric locomotive, Wabtec said, will be creating battery capacity of more than 6 megawatt hours, which could reduce the fuel consumption and carbon emissions of a locomotive consist by up to 30 percent.

Such a locomotive could begin revenue service “in the next few years,” Wabtec said in a news release.

Wabtec said its efforts to develop zero-emission locomotives using batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and hydrogen internal combustion engines has “a clear path” to power new locomotives and re-power existing engines — with those forms of power.

The locomotives used in the BNSF test had 18,000 lithium-ion battery cells with 2.4 megawatts of power that were charged at rail yards and through regenerative braking.

A grant of $22.6 million from the California Air Resources Board to Wabtec, BNSF, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District paid for the testing.

Wabtec Touts Battery Operated Locomotive

May 3, 2021

The Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive has been sent back to the company’s locomotive assembly plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, after completing tests on BNSF.

Wabtec officials said the testing, conducted largely in Southern California, had the prototype work for more than 13,000 miles.

They said test results were encouraging. Wabtec CEO Rafael Santana said the locomotive “was able to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions by more than 11 percent.”

Calling that a “game-changer in decarbonizing rail,” Santana said his company continues to see growing interest in next generation motive power and that battery-electric will be part of his company’s long-term growth.

Wabtec officials said they are having “some strong discussions with customers.”

A number of railroads, including Class 1 systems Canadian Pacific and Canadian National, have begun studying motive power that does not use diesel fuel.

CP is developing a hydrogen fuel-cell locomotive and CN has been examining various options.

BNSF spokeswoman Amy Casas said the Wabtec battery prototype met expectations for efficiency performance and confirmed the potential of this technology.

More detailed reports on the locomotive’s performance are expected to be released in the coming months.