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Audi using Alstom H3 plug-in hybrid shunting locomotive at Ingolstadt

Audi has begun using a new 1,000 horsepower plug-in hybrid shunting locomotive manufactured by Alstom in daily operations at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt, Germany. The new locomotive runs without any emissions inside the plant buildings and can operate for up to two hours at a time in purely electric mode. Its battery is plugged in during breaks for recharging with CO2‑free electricity, or is supported while in motion by a diesel engine.

The three-axle Alstom H3 hybrid locomotive is significantly quieter than its conventional counterparts, and can deliver up to a 50% reduction in diesel fuel use, with a concomitant reduction in CO2emissions. This means that the plug‑in‑hybrid locomotive emits up to 60 tons less CO2 each year. For the Ingolstadt plant, this is another stage on the way to the CO2‑neutral factory.


Volkswagen is also using an H3 hybrid locomotive at its plant in Wolfsburg. Volkswagen and Alstom have been connected in a long-lasting technology-partnership on the area of hybrid shunting locomotives. In a pilot project, Volkswagen used retrofitted shunters with a hybrid drive from Alstom. The operating experiences from these locos paved the way of the development of the new H3 platform.

Our goal is all‑round sustainable logistics. The new railway technology allows more economical, energy‑efficient and low‑emission rail transport. In connection with the latest chassis technology, the plug‑in‑hybrid locomotive sets new standards in shunting and rail transport.

—Johann Schmid, head of the Audi plant railway in Ingolstadt

The complete automobile plant in Ingolstadt includes 18 kilometers of railways. Every day, 15 goods trains arrive at Ingolstadt North railway station loaded with pressed parts, engines and transmissions, as well as cars from other Audi sites that are ready for delivery to customers. Cars produced in Ingolstadt also start their journey to customers by rail.

17 Audi locomotive drivers work at the plant railway. One of their tasks is to allocate the wagons to the various plant buildings. One plant locomotive carries out up to 75 shunting maneuvers every day and operates for an average of 3,800 hours each year.

Alstom offers the H3 in four versions:

  • H3 Battery - 600 kW electric loco: this 100% electric version is equipped with powerful batteries which deliver up to 600 kW. It is designed for light shunting service with zero emissions.

  • H3 Hybrid - 700 kW hybrid loco: this hybrid variant is equipped with a 350 kW diesel generator and a 350 kW battery. It is especially suitable for heavy-duty shunting service.

  • H3 Dual Engine - 700 kW dual engine loco: this two-engine variant is particularly flexible, suitable for mainline service as well as shunting operations.

  • H3 Single Engine - 1,000 kW single-engine loco: This is the most powerful of the versions adapted to mainline service and heavy shunting maneuvers.

Diagram from a 2013 Alstom presentation showing the modular layout and components of the four versions of the H3 shunting locomotive. The hybrid combines the 100 kWh, 350 kW battery pack with the 350 kW diesel. Click to enlarge.


Henry Gibson

This a a very suitable Lok to use Durathon batteries or the ZEBRA from FIAM with near Lithium capacity for unit weight and a much longer life. ..HG..

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