30 May 2007

General Electric Company (GE) unveiled a prototype hybrid road locomotive at its Ecomagination event in Los Angeles. The 4,400 hp Evolution Hybrid diesel-electric locomotive features a series of batteries that capture and store energy dissipated during dynamic braking. The energy stored in the batteries is used to help accelerate the train from a stop, reducing fuel consumption and emissions by up to 10% compared to most of the freight locomotives in use today. In addition to reduced emissions, a hybrid will operate more efficiently in higher altitudes and up steep inclines.

The hybrid locomotive uses an undisclosed new type of lead-free rechargeable batteries. Before the hybrid is offered commercially, GE will continue work and analysis on the batteries and corresponding control systems on-board the locomotive. Following lab testing, GE will produce pre-production units for customer field validation purposes.

The GE Evolution Hybrid is the first hybrid locomotive designed for long-distance travel, so called “road locomotive”. Hybrid locomotives for yard switching applications, called the “Green Goat”, have been commercialized by RailPower Technologies of Vancouver, BC.

The energy dissipated in braking a 207-ton locomotive during the course of one year is enough to power 160 households for that year, said GE.

Source: GE