Siemens Receives First Order For Battery-Powered Trains

The battery-powered trains can use rail routes without continuous overhead power lines for up to 80 km (50 miles).

This week, Siemens received its first order for Mireo Plus B battery-powered trains. In total, 20 units will be delivered to Baden-Württembergin Germany in 2023.

Unlike the standard series-hybrids with a diesel-powered generator, these new trains will be equipped with a battery pack to drive up to 80 km (50 miles) on its own power on non-electrified tracks and then cover the rest of the route/recharge on electrified sections.

“Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemberg (SFBW) has ordered 20 Mireo Plus B trains from Siemens Mobility. The two-car electric trainsets with 120 seats can operate on rail routes with or without overhead power lines thanks to their battery hybrid drive, and are scheduled to operate in Network 8 of the Ortenau regional system. The contract also includes maintenance of the trains by Siemens Mobility for a period of just under 30 years.”

“Delivery of the trains is scheduled to be completed by December 2023. The trains will be built at the Siemens Mobility factory in Krefeld, Germany. The KfW IPEX Bank is financing the trains for Nahverkehrsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (NVBW). The financing of €77 million has a term of 28 years.”

“The Mireo Plus B has a range of around 80 kilometers in battery operation under real conditions. The batteries can be charged via the overhead line while operating along electrified sections and by recuperating the train’s braking energy. The battery system is mounted underfloor and is installed in two battery containers. Lithium-ion batteries with a long service life are used in the system.”

Earlier this year we reported about the first contract for 20 battery-electric regional trains received by Alstom (also in Germany), which suggests that battery technology finally allows for viable business cases for electric trains.

Those are not the long-range electric trains, but since there are plenty of electrified tracks, the short (battery) range of up to 80 km (50 miles) seems to be a perfect solution, especially for carefully selected routes.

State Minister for Transport Winfried Hermann said:

“This marks the first time battery-powered trains will be used in the state. With this innovative technology, the electrification of rail routes without continuous overhead power lines will also be possible.”

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