Battery trains? They will arrive in 2022

Battery trains? They will arrive in 2022

After wheel transport with Tesla Semi, rail transport is also preparing for an important change.

In 2018, the Swiss train manufacturer Stadler started a research and development project concerning an innovative battery-capable train to operate both on the classic electrified network and on tracks without power supply; in mid-April 2021, the Flirt Akku is a reality and has already traveled 15,000km using only the batteries placed on its roof, reaching an average distance of 185km, well beyond the 150km expected by Stadler itself.

The company is extremely satisfied with having developed a sustainable solution and sees multiple applications of this technology in the real world; the name Flirt Akku is also not accidental, in fact akku is the German for drums.

This vehicle is not just a prototype, in fact the company has already received 55 orders in 2019 from the Schleswig-Holstein company and deliveries of first 5 vehicles are scheduled for November 2022 while the remaining 50 units will be delivered by 2024.

The development team has spent a lot of time testing the batteries under extreme conditions such as a test conducted in the summer of 2019 with temperatures above 40 degrees that forced the constant use of air conditioning or another test that took place in the winter of 2021 with temperatures well over -10 degrees.

“The results have been surprising, having never had problems of any kind and without ever having problems of autonomy” comments Evelyn Thiel, technical director of the project.

Emissions rail transport zero is an important and fundamental step to be able to achieve the ecological objectives that the European Union has set itself for the next few years; only 54% of the European railway network is in fact equipped with overhead cables.

Recently, Germany has decided to expand its network with the aim of reaching 70% electrified coverage, thus making an important contribution to the European objectives and improving the quality of transport.