GE will introduce a one-of-a-kind hybrid road locomotive tomorrow at Union Station in Los Angeles 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 4,400 hp 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. GE previewed the system at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Long Beach last week.
In addition to reduced emissions, a hybrid will operate more efficiently in higher altitudes and up steep inclines. Several GE customers including BNSF are helping to serve on GE’s advisory board for the development of hybrid technology.
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.