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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

5/10/2005    Mechanical

Rail News: Mechanical

GE has hybrid diesel-electric locomotive on drawing board

Yesterday, General Electric Co. unveiled ecomagination, an initiative under which the company plans to develop and market technologies that address today’s environmental challenges. As part of the initiative, GE Transportation Rail is developing a hybrid 4,400-horsepower diesel-electric locomotive designed to store energy in a battery bank to reduce emissions and fuel usage about 50 percent and 15 percent, respectively, compared with a conventional diesel locomotive.

The road unit will feature lead-free rechargeable batteries that provide the locomotive an additional 2,000 horsepower when needed, such as to move up a steep incline or operate in a high altitude.

GE already produces the 4,400-horsepower EVOLUTION Series locomotives, which feature the GEVO 12-cylinder engine and are designed to reduce emissions about 40 percent compared with a conventional locomotive.

“GE’s hybrid locomotive is being designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime [equal to] taking 2,600 cars off the road for a year [and emitting] half as much nitrogen oxide as locomotives built 20 years ago,” GE officials said in a prepared statement.

As part of ecomagination, GE also plans to double annual research and development spending to $1.5 billion, introduce more environmentally friendly products, reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and improve its energy efficiency.

“We will focus our energy, technology, manufacturing and infrastructure capabilities to develop tomorrow's solutions, such as solar energy, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, lighter and stronger materials, efficient lighting and water purification technology,” said GE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt.

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