GE Unveils First Hybrid Road Locomotive

May 28, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

GE announced the debut of its hybrid road locomotive. GE’s Evolution® Hybrid locomotive will be unveiled to demonstrate the progress that GE’s Transportation business is making in developing a freight hybrid locomotive that is capable of recycling thermal energy as stored power in on-board batteries. The demonstration hybrid unit is one of many technologies that are being developed and used in the rail industry to reduce smog-causing emissions, including Nitrous Oxide emissions, and particulate matter.

Bearing road number 2010, the 4,400 horsepower Evolution® Hybrid diesel-electric prototype will feature a series of innovative batteries that will capture and store energy dissipated during dynamic braking. The energy stored in the batteries will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 10% compared to most of the freight locomotives in use today. In addition to reduced emissions, a hybrid will operate more efficiently in higher altitudes and up steep inclines.

Before the GE hybrid locomotive is offered commercially, the engineering team will continue work and analysis on the innovative lead-free rechargeable batteries and corresponding control systems on-board the locomotive. Following lab testing, GE will produce pre-production units for customer field validation purposes.

"This locomotive will reduce emissions while providing operating benefits to our customers that transport consumer goods and other raw materials by recapturing the energy wasted during train braking," said Steve Gray, GE – Transportation’s Engineering Leader. "As we work toward bringing the Evolution(R) Hybrid locomotive to commercial production, our engineers will use this locomotive as a living lab working with our customers to test, study, and refine our hybrid locomotive technology."