This hydrogen-energy urban train has been jointly developed by CRRC Changchun Railway Co and Chengdu Rail Transit
Earlier this year in Aug, Germany launched the first Hydrogen powered trains. Now, on 28th December 2022, China’s first hydrogen-energy urban train independent intellectual property rights, rolled off production lines at the Chengdu CRRC production facility in Xinjin, Chengdu.
This train, the working of which was demonstrated in November 2022, at the automobile exhibition area of the 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE), has been co-developed by CRRC Changchun Railway Co and Chengdu Rail Transit.
China’s First Hydrogen Powered Train
Hydrogen Energy is clean and zero carbon renewable energy and this train, which comprises a built in system of hydrogen power will offer a long range of 600 kms. It has a top speed of 160 km/h. As per estimates, the train running at this speed over a 500 kms route will be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 10,000 kgs per year.
Hydrogen powered engines could be the future. This market, which is yet in its nascent stage, is expected to be valued at $34.7 billion by 2030. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.4% from 2031-2040 to reach $87.3 billion by 2040. This tech has a huge growth potential, thanks to the fact that it has zero tailpipe emissions. There are numerous companies working on hydrogen engine tech, with added investments into R&D, product development and advanced technologies that could lead to outstanding growth in the hydrogen powered energy markets.
China’s Hydrogen powered train has a capacity of 1,502 passengers and comes in with the latest features of automatic wake up, start/stop and return to depot. It will also incorporate features such as intelligent monitoring systems and sensors, 5G train to ground communication and bio-data analysis to ensure optimum safety standards of the train.
Energy is generated via a combination of hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction in the hydrogen fuel cell. This energy created is both stable and low on noise. In the future, this Hydrogen-Energy Urban Train can have many other advantages. For example, it can be used on non-electrified lines, can be applied to other urban vehicles and can also result in saving of infrastructure investment and bring down maintenance costs to a great extent.
50,000 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles by 2025
With this innovation, there are extensive plans being made in China to take this further. The country plans to introduce around 50,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2025 with an annual target of hydrogen production from renewable energy of 1,00,000-2,00,000 tons. Such an effort was announced in March 2022 by the National Development and Reform Commission and National Energy Administration (NEA). The country also plans to set up increased hydrogen refueling stations over the next few months from a current 270 stations.
Not to be left behind, Indian Railways also plans to introduce Hydrogen powered Vande Bharat Express trains by the end of 2023. Railways and Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the first indigenously designed and built hydrogen train would roll out in December 2023. The design process of these trains exclusively by Indian engineers, will be completed by mid-2023 with the first such train to be rolled out by the end of the year.