China's 1st hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive rolled out

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Aerial photo taken on Jan. 27, 2021 shows China's first self-developed hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive in Datong. [Photo/Xinhua]

The first China-developed hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive was rolled off the production line of CRRC Datong Co., Ltd. on Wednesday in Datong City, north China's Shanxi Province.

The locomotive is designed to run at a speed of 80 km per hour, with 700 kW of continuous power for 24.5 hours. Its maximum traction load on a straight track exceeds 5,000 tonnes.

"The locomotive uses a combination of a hydrogen fuel cell system and a high-power lithium battery," said Zhai Wanming, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Zhai said compared with traditional fuel and electric locomotives, hydrogen-fueled hybrid locomotives are not only safer and more environmentally friendly but also quieter, cheaper and easier to maintain.

Zhao Mingyuan, chief engineer of CRRC Datong Co., Ltd., said the product's performance is competitive on the international market.

The modular design of the locomotive gives it the flexibility to utilize different power levels and power modes to cater to customers' demands for multiple applications, such as operating in tunnels and mines.

Zhao said a number of European customers have shown interest in purchasing the locomotive.

"In the field of environmental protection and climate agreements, this locomotive is our future, and will be the norm in the coming years. It will run not only on Chinese railways but also on tracks in Poland," said Izabela Lochowska, CEO of the Polish Institute, in a teleconferencing speech of congratulations to CRRC Datong Co., Ltd. for the launch of the hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive.

Founded in 1954, CRRC Datong Co., Ltd. is a core subsidiary of the CRRC, which mainly focuses on the research, manufacture and maintenance of locomotives and rolling stocks for railway transport.

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