Audi's Plug-In Yard Locomotive
Hybrid-electric yard locomotives have been around for more than a decade, the first, called the Green Goat, developed by Railpower and leased to the Union Pacific in 2002. Audi, the German performance carmaker, has taken the next step, building a plug-in hybrid locomotive to be used in its expansive rail yard outside its Ingolstadt assembly facility. With some 17 miles of track, its conventional diesel-electric locomotives typically operate more than 10 hours a day shunting parts around the facility.
The new 1000 hp shunting locomotive pictured above was developed by Alstom, which also builds high speed trains for European railways. It is capable of operating on batteries alone for up to 2 hours, producing zero local emissions. An onboard diesel generator can provide additional electric current if and when needed, but ideally the batteries will be charged during periodic downtimes. The company estimates that switching to the plug-in drive system will save some 60 tons of carbon dioxide annually while using 50% less fuel compared to is existing locomotives which use 20 liters of fuel per hour compared to 9 liters for the new model.
In terms of emissions, Audi points out that's equivalent to 50 A1 sedans
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