Germany will invest some €227 million to support the electrification of rail, with a focus on batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, including charging and refueling infrastructure.
Currently, 61% of the rail network in Germany is electrified with overhead lines. Conventional rail vehicles with diesel engines are currently used almost exclusively on the non-electrified routes.
The goal of Germany’s Electrification Plus program is that by 2050, 100% of all train kilometers are to be covered electrically or climate-neutrally. To this end, 70% of the rail network is to be equipped with overhead lines. On routes without overhead lines, the trains should run with alternative drives.
The BMVI has issued its first call for projects under the alternative drive for rail program, seeking:
The procurement of innovative rail vehicles or the conversion to alternative drives for routes without overhead lines;
The construction of charging / hydrogen refueling infrastructure, as well as electrolysis systems for the production of hydrogen; and
Studies on possible uses in the respective route network.
The BMVI has already funded several development projects for alternative drives in railcars in recent years.