World’s First Zero-Emission Train To Begin Operations in 2017

zero-emission train
The first zero-emission train could hit the road in Germany by 2017.

The first zero-emission train would be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries, it would start service in Germany by December 2017 and shall provides good alternative to the country’s 4,000 diesel cars currently in circulation in Germany.

The innovative machine is built by French Company Alstom and won’t emit any greenhouse gases — just clean steam while operating with a low level of noise. The new train would be called, Coradia iLint, and was unveiled at Berlin in August.

zero-emission train
Visitors check out the Coradia iLint train after it was unveiled at InnoTrans in September CREDIT: AFP

How does the train work? It operates with a roof tank stocked with hydrogen fuel of the machine, that in turn powers a fuel cell to produce electrical energy.

see video posted on twitter below for more explanations.

The use of hydrogen cells and lithium-ion batteries have caused so many worries in the technology industry and many are very skeptical about its success. Hydrogen is known to be an extremely flammable gas, and some electronics with lithium-ion batteries have famously caught on fire. (Remember Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 ?).


But not the same can be said by popular vehicle manufacturers, like Toyota and Honda who has built hydrogen-powered cars and claim they are safer than cars fueled by petrol. But in recent times a good number of Tesla electric cars have caught fire because their lithium-ion battery packs was damaged.

Alstom said that German Federal Railway Authority has began the testing of the zero-emission train passenger train this fall, and the approval process should be completed by the end of 2017.

Alstom is proud to launch a breakthrough innovation in the field of clean transportation, Alstom chairman and CEO, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, said in a statement.

It shows our ability to work in close collaboration with our customers and develop a train in only two years.

It was also reported that the hydrogen tank will be big enough to fuel 500-mile journey and propel the train at up to 87 miles per hour, CityLab reported.


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