Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CLIMATE CRISIS: GREENING CARS / GLOBAL OVERVIEW + AUSTRALIA / NORWAY / CHINA / UK

These are fast-moving disruptive times for the auto industry worldwide. In the mainstream media, electric vehicles are receiving most attention but there is much more to be discovered behind the headlines. It's a complex picture which THE GENERALIST will try and make sense of.



One of the best places to start perhaps is the KPMG Annual Global Automotive Executive Survey, now in its 20th year. KPMG member firms operate in 147 countries and in many fields including accountancy, sustainable investment, financial consultancy. Their top-line mission: to build 'a future where everyone feels included and diversity is embraced'. So how do people working inside the industry feel about the future?. Here's some edited highlights from a section of the report entitled 'The Future of Combustion'.

There will not just be the one and only powertrain technology
Based on country and area of application, multiple drivetrain technologies will co-exist alongside each other – execs globally believe that by 2040 there will be a fairly even split: 

Battery Eelectric Vehicles [BEVs] (30%), Hybrids (25%), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles [FCEV] (23%) and Internal Combustion Engines [ICEs] (23%). 

Globally Hybrids (71%) and BEVs (71%) are the clear investment focus of  execs. Regionally, Hybrids are remaining the number one investment focus of execs from North America, South America and India & ASEAN. Chinese and Western European execs clearly focus on BEVs. 

Consumers still prefer hybrids and ICEs over fully electric vehicles. Clear favourite for their next car is a hybrid. Consumers from more rural areas clearly prefer ICEs over all other technologies' 

KPMG: 'This distinctly shows that most consumers have significant doubts about the market maturity of complete new alternative technologies' 
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DIESEL COMEBACK?

 'We have concluded that diesel was technologically never dead, just socially unacceptable....we will see a continuous supply of diesel fuel. Its production is linked directly to the production of gasoline; both originate in the processing of crude oil.

The majority of consumers no longer considers diesel to be a viable option. Globally more than two-thirds of consumers oppose diesel. In China, the leading market of battery electric technology, the disapproval rate was 82%.


'Continuing failure to comply with ecological standards would continue to lower the social acceptance of diesel'.
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FUTURE MIX

The future will be a mix of different drivetrain technologies
 The automotive industry is in the middle of a product-driven disruptive period. Driven by industrial policies, as well as society’s increasing ecological awareness, alternative electric powertrains are pushing their way into (mature) automotive markets, currently still with limited success.  

Challenges for e-mobility, such as infrastructure, cost and charging, remain high.
BEVs, FCEVs, full electric hybrids or engines powered by alternative fuels only account for a marginal fraction on today’s roads. Global executives believe that we will see a strong increase in the [their] share...over the next decade. However, in their opinion ICEs will still account for the largest share of cars by 2030 (31%).
 It’s completely understandable that we will have a mix of different drivetrain technologies. [They] will co-exist and complement each other, varying in their respective areas of application, car size, also factoring in industrial policies and dependency on raw materials.
In summary, we believe that the times when the OEM's [Original Equipment Manufacturer] technology strategy exclusively determined the offer in the market are over. Nowadays, regulators, industrial policies, infrastructure and raw material access are driving the agenda.
  KPMG: 'Infrastructure obviously plays a key role in the future success of alternative drivetrain technologies. Today’s gas station infrastructure is very pure, while the “refueling / recharging” infrastructure of tomorrow will be diverse.'
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AUSTRALIA 
Dutchman ends 'world's longest electric car trip' in Australia
April 7th 2019
Ditchman Wiebe Wakker took just over three years crossing 33 countries in his 95,000 km journey by electric car  - a retrofitted station wagon nicknamed "The Blue Bandit" - from the Netherlands to Australia to prove the viability of such vehicles in tackling climate change.

Source: phys.org
Following the UK’s announcement that it will ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2035, Macquarie University Professor Graham Town nominates the year Australians will make the switch to all-electric vehicles. 
'Although we’ve been a bit slow off the mark, Australia could ban the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars from 2030.'That would align us with other countries planning to prohibit petrol and diesel cars in the near future, namely Norway in 2025; Demark, India and Germany in 2030, Britain in 2035; and China and France in 2040.' 
So far there has been no national policy to address the adoption of electric vehicles. However the Federal Government is expected to release a national strategy later this year.

Many Scandinavian governments have supported the uptake of electric vehicles by waiving sales tax on fully electric vehicles and this has resulted in much higher uptake rates.
In Norway, the government is rolling out free charging infrastructure, so the majority of all new vehicles sold are now electric.
Additionally, these and many other countries are electrifying their bus transport systems, with targets to replace petrol and diesel buses by fully electric buses 10 or more years ahead of their targets for light vehicles.
There are currently less than 20,000 fully electric vehicles on the road in Australia, out of a total of about 20 million registered vehicles.
Analysts predict that the purchase price of an electric will be on par with ICEs by about 2025. Given the much cheaper running costs and environmental benefits, most people in the market for a new car are likely to switch then, if not before.
Most states are in the process of rolling out fast-charging infrastructure along main highways to accommodate longer trips and tourism by electric vehicles. For example the Queensland Government is implementing an ‘electric super highway’ charger roll-out plan to enable tourists to do fly-drive holidays using electric vehicles.
Latest News:  The Electric Vehicle Council says 6,718 full electric and hybrid plug-in vehicles were sold in Australia in 2019, up from 2,216 the year before. The Guardian/6th Feb 2020

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NORWAY 



The fleet of plug-in electric vehicles in Norway is the largest per capita in the world. In March 2014, Norway became the first country where one in every 100 passenger cars on the road was a plug-in electric; the market penetration passed 5% in December 2016, and attained 10% in October 2018. The Norwegian plug-in car segment market share has been the highest in the world for several years, achieving 29.1% in 2016, 39.2% in 2017, 49.1% in 2018 and 55.9% in 2019.

'As a result of the successful policies implemented to promote EV adoption, the stock of electric vehicles in Norway has increased rapidly, resulting in several unintended consequences, and raising several complaints and criticism. These include: high public subsidies as compared to the value of the reduced carbon footprint of electric vehicles; the possibility of traffic congestion in some of Oslo's bus lanes due to the increasing number of electric cars; the loss of revenue for some ferry operators due to the large number of electric cars exempted from payment; and the shortage of parking spaces for owners of conventional cars due to preference to electric cars (although this was actually the intended policy).'

Source; An extensive Wikipedia entry Plug-in electric vehicles in Norway

Refuelling industry looks to Norway for answers on how to evolve 
Archie Hall (Financial Times/ Feb 15 2020)
In Bergen, Norway’s second city, close to one in five cars in are now fully electric                               — the most of any city, anywhere. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that 57 per cent of global car sales in 2040 will be electric. Norway crossed that threshold in March.
Norway’s government wants to end sales of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2025 and has waived its heavy taxes on new car purchases for electric vehicles.
 Many multinationals that run petrol stations are visiting  the city to try and see whether the electric car mean the end of the road for roadside refuellers?

'After buying Norway’s largest petrol station network in 2012, Canadian refuelling giant Alimentation Couche-Tard designated Norway its “laboratory” to study that precise question. 

British consultancy Insight Research also offers fuel retailers what it calls Norwegian “retail safaris” where they can pay to tour petrol station sites across Oslo.

A Boston Consulting Group study published last year found that at least a quarter of petrol stations worldwide risk closure by 2035 without significant changes to their business models. Under BCG’s most aggressive scenario, 80 per cent could shut.

In Norway, while charging outlets are increasingly available at petrol stations, the majority of electric vehicle owners use them only monthly, according to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association. Day-to-day, most charge at home or at work.
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CHINA
 "We are witnessing a transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to zero-emission vehicles" The transition will take time, says Wang. He calculates that even if close to 100 per cent of Chinese car sales are EVs by 2031, they will still only number around 30 per cent of all cars on roads. 
 -- Yunshi Wang, director of the China Center for Energy and Transportation at the University of California, Davis

China buys more EVs than any other nation. In 2018, 125 million electric cars - 984,000 of which were solely battery-powered - were sold in the country, accounting for more than half of all EVs sold globally.  
 A significant proportion of them were made by BYD Auto, a firm headquartered in Xi'an, China. In 2018, BYD sold nearly 248,000 zero-emissions vehicles globally, outpacing Tesla's sales of roughly 245,000.  The company began in 1995 as a manufacturer of batteries for mobile phones and digital cameras, and has since expanded to produce battery-powered cars, buses and trucks. In July 2018, it launched a fleet of 37 fully electric double decker buses as part of London's public transport system. 
The shift has been driven by a Chinese government goal of reaching 5 million "new-energy" vehicles - including battery electrics, hybrid cars and fuel-cell cars - on China's roads by 2020, when yearly sales of these cars should hit 2 million.'
 Even though the Chinese EV market is already the biggest in the world, EVs still only make up an estimated 4 per cent of total car sales there. 
The world leader is Norway, where last year 46 per cent of cars sold were EVs.  
  • Energy security is also a concern. About 70 per cent of China's crude oil is imported. "China wants to rely mostly on electricity, which it can produce domestically," says Wang. 
  • The Chinese government has been subsidising electric car designs for a decade and has given financial backing to many EV manufacturers. It has also invested in infrastructure for charging the vehicles.
  •  By the end of 2018, China had an estimated 342,000 public charging points - and new residential buildings are required to have somewhere to plug in. In comparison, there are about 67,000 public chargers in the US. 
Source: 'China drives Into the Future' by Donna Lu [ New Scientist/13 July 2019]
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Huge government subsidies were introduced in China in 2010 to kick start the EV revolution. Those subsidies are due to run out at the end of 2020, although there has been recent specualtion that a rethink may be possible, Sales of electric vehicles declined for the last six months of 2019 and the latest news is that coronavirus outbreak has caused a most severe downturn in sales of EVs in China which is dragging down the global market. According to Bloomberg News: The virus has brought the broader auto industry to a virtual standstill'.

SHANGHAI MOTOR SHOW


UK

[Investors Chronicle /Feb 12, 2020]

By Alex Janiaud, Nilushi Karunaratne amd Tom Dines

The UK government has brought forward its intention to end the sale of new combustion engine-powered cars and vans to 2035, fuelling concerns about the future of the automotive industry and the UK’s readiness for the advent of electric vehicles.... the government prepares to withdraw its plug-in car grant in March, which has supported electric car sales growth and provided customers with as much as £3,500 to purchase low-emission vehicles.
Out of the 149,279 cars sold in the UK in January 2020, only 4,054 were battery electric vehicles, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – although this was up from 1,334 in 2019. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles accounted for 4,788 of car sales, again having increased from 2,268 cars last year.
Diesel and petrol car sales fell 36 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively, year on year in January, as part of a broader downward trend in automotive sales, in a sign that the UK’s electric car boom may have relied in part on the government’s grant.
“For the UK market to stand any chance of meeting the extremely challenging 2035 goal, an extensive package of government support is vital,” the SMMT said. It advocated extending grants to all ‘ultra low emission vehicles’, citing negative consequences in other European markets from prematurely removing support “before the market is ready”.
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Infrastructure/Charging Points:



A report commissioned by Scottish Power suggests the UK will need 2.6m public charging points by 2050 to meet its net zero target. Slow progress is being made.

According to charging point locator Zap Map, there are more than 30,000 charging connectors spread across almost 11,000 locations. Recent growth has been driven by the installation of faster charging points.

National Grid (NG.) has called on public funding for “ultra-rapid” charge points, capitalising on the proximity between the UK’s main transport corridors and high-voltage transmission network. It has identified 54 motorway service stations that could put 99 per cent of electric vehicle drivers within 50 miles of a charging location.

BP (BP.) acquired Chargemaster in 2018 and had more than 7,000 charging points in the UK at the end of last year. For Tufan Erginbilgic, outgoing chief executive of BP’s downstream business, the ultimate aim is to “closely replicate the current fuelling experience”.
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Aside from having enough charging points, a critical question is whether the electricity network can cope with increased demand.

National Grid’s ‘Future Energy Scenarios’ report forecasts that annual electricity demand from road transport could increase from around 1 terrawatt hour (TWh) in 2020 to up to 96 TWh by 2050.

Major schemes to introduce new grid capacity typically take five years of planning and delivery, and thinktank Energy Systems Catapult believes there is a “real risk the uptake of EVs is potentially much faster than the investment cycles within which network operators operate”.

National Grid is confident additional demand can be met through ‘smart charging’ which manages energy consumption. Charging can be deferred from peak times to periods when there is spare capacity and consumers are incentivised with cheaper off-peak power. Regulator Ofgem calculates that flexible charging would enable at least 60 per cent more electric vehicles to be charged, reducing the need for expensive upgrades to network infrastructure.

If the UK is serious about ramping up its electric vehicle infrastructure, it might look to emulate the Netherlands, where Total SA (TTA) was awarded Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging contract to install and operate up to 20,000 new public charging points. 

*
As the auto sector shifts away from petrol and diesel engines, the manufacturers and infrastructure companies are – understandably – expected to face the bulk of the work in facilitating the shift towards electric vehicles... the sector is facing sharp declines in the number of new car registrations here and now.

The consumption patterns of electric vehicle owners are different from those of traditional drivers, with demand for oil products disappearing and less demand for parts replacements.
 The heavier average weight of electric vehicles, along with higher rates of acceleration, are expected to drive increased demand for tyres.
The service intervals [on an EV] can be around every 25,000 miles, compared with 10,000 miles currently, and batteries have fewer parts than internal combustion engines, meaning fewer things can go wrong.
“It’s going to be significantly longer service intervals, less complexity for things to go wrong. So, there will be a gap to your [aftersales],” he said.

However, this does not mean that electric vehicles will be the government’s favoured automobile option in the long term. Mike Allen of Zeus Capital notes that, at the start of the century, diesel was seen as the environmentally friendly option endorsed by the government, but now faces bans.
“I can fully see a situation where people [who] own electric cars suddenly have to pay more for their electricity to charge up their cars because of the pressures on the national grid, and the government saying you should drive a hydrogen car,” he said.



Saturday, February 15, 2020

CLIMATE CRISIS: GREENING CARS/ THE FALL AND RISE of SUVs

THE GENERALIST has written about Green Cars and related issues in two previous posts, which can be read in full here. Earthed: Green Car Guide [Sept 25th 2006] and Earthed: Green Cars 2008 [Nov 8th 2008]. It's interesting to see what progress or not has been made in the last 12-14 years. The most intriguing story is about SUVs.



September 2019: Automakers faced protests at the Frankfurt auto show accusing them of not doing enough to end their reliance on diesel and gasoline engines.. On the eve of the show four pedestrians were struck and killed by an SUV in Berlin, prompting a fierce debate about the "social utility" of these gas-guzzling, tank-like cars.


2006: End of the SUV? 

'Ford has finally predicted the fall of the SUV, a vehicle that has supported the company’s finances for decades. SUV sales have been falling month by month with a speed that Ford’s chief sales analyst describes as “pretty eye-popping”. As consumers abandon SUVs and light trucks in favour of smaller cars, the big three US automakers, General Motors, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler, are having to take a hard look at their own product lines. Ford announced in early June that it would produce 58,000 fewer trucks in the next quarter than it had in the same period last year – but 40,000 more cars. Meanwhile Chrysler’s senior vice-president of sales, Gary Dilts, has told the Washington Post that his company plans to ‘dial up’ the fuel-efficiency message, with TV ads highlighting how many miles per gallon you can get in its more compact cars.As Detroit hits problems, the main beneficiaries of the new trend are the Japanese. Toyota and Honda are seeing their pioneering investments in fuel-efficient compact cars and petrol-electric hybrids start to pay big dividends. Toyota is on the verge of overtaking GM as the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer.'
This information came from Green Car Guide, launched in September 2006 by Paul Clarke as the UK’s original green car news site. Clarke writes:
'Our work has always been driven by the overriding desire to look after the environment, which includes helping with solutions to the issues of climate change and local air pollution, but we also believe that today’s overriding political priority is sustainable development; it is possible for people to like cars and the planet, and so for over 13 years our passion has been to promote cars with the least impact on our environment.
The site is updated monthly. The current section GREEN 4X4S, SUVS AND CROSSOVERS reads in part:
'Our reviews cover electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, petrol and diesel 4x4s. Diesel cars are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the moment, but usually the most efficient 4x4s that we’ve tested in real life driving are diesels, and the very latest RDE2 diesel engines are as clean as petrol engines for emissions that impact on local air quality, and they have lower CO2.'
'So whatever size and type of 4×4 you want, there should be an efficient one to suit you. But it’s worth remembering that aerodynamics and weight are two of the worst enemies for real-life economy, and 4x4s and SUVs usually have a large frontal area and are heavy, so if you want ultimate efficiency, ask yourself if you really need a 4×4. A crossover estate body style is more aerodynamic, and usually lighter than a full size SUV. It will also be better to drive on the road.' 
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 The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) is described by Wikipedia as a right-wing neo-liberal think-tank. Not a source that The Generalist would ordinarily use. However on October 15th 2019, they published an extraordinary paper written by Energy Modellers Laura Cozzi and Apostolos Petropoulos which makes shocking reading.

Buick S.U.V.s at a General Motors plant in eastern China.

Growing preference for SUVs challenges emissions reductions in passenger car market

The background to this story is the rise of electric vehicles and a decline in the sales of comnventional cars. They write:
'Carmakers plan more than 350 electric models by 2025, mostly small-to-medium variants. Plans from the top 20 car manufacturers suggest a tenfold increase in annual electric car sales, to 20 million vehicles a year by 2030, from 2 million in 2018. Starting from a low base, less than 0.5% of the total car stock, this growth in electric vehicles means that nearly 7% of the car fleet will be electric by 2030.'
'Meanwhile, the conventional car market has been showing signs of fatigue, with sales declining in 2018 and 2019, due to slowing economies. Global sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars fell by around 2% to under 87 million in 2018, the first drop since the 2008 recession. Data for 2019 points to a continuation of this trend, led by China, where sales in the first half of the year fell nearly 14%, and India where they declined by 10%.
They suggest that: 'These trends have created a narrative of an imminent peak in passenger car oil demand, and related CO2 emissions, and the beginning of the end for the “ICE age.”
 They ask the question: 'As passenger cars consume nearly one-quarter of global oil demand today, does this signal the approaching erosion of a pillar of global oil consumption?

They then reveal the shocking truth: 'A more silent structural change may put this conclusion into question: consumers are buying ever larger and less fuel-efficient cars, known as Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).'


This dramatic shift towards bigger and heavier cars has led to a doubling of the share of SUVs over the last decade. As a result, there are now over 200 million SUVs around the world, up from about 35 million in 2010, accounting for 60% of the increase in the global car fleet since 2010. Around 40% of annual car sales today are SUVs, compared with less than 20% a decade ago.

 This trend is universal. Today, almost half of all cars sold in the United States and one-third of the cars sold in Europe are SUVs. In China, SUVs are considered symbols of wealth and status. In India, sales are currently lower, but consumer preferences are changing as more and more people can afford SUVs. Similarly, in Africa, the rapid pace of urbanisation and economic development means that demand for premium and luxury vehicles is relatively strong.

The impact of its rise on global emissions is nothing short of surprising. The global fleet of SUVs has seen its emissions growing by nearly 0.55 Gt CO2 during the last decade to roughly 0.7 Gt CO2.

As a consequence, SUVs were the second-largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions since 2010 after the power sector, but ahead of heavy industry (including iron & steel, cement, aluminium), as well as trucks and aviation.

On average, SUVs consume about a quarter more energy than medium-size cars. As a result, global fuel economy worsened caused in part by the rising SUV demand since the beginning of the decade, even though efficiency improvements in smaller cars saved over 2 million barrels a day, and electric cars displaced less than 100,000 barrels a day.

In fact, SUVs were responsible for all of the 3.3 million barrels a day growth in oil demand from passenger cars between 2010 and 2018, while oil use from other type of cars (excluding SUVs) declined slightly. If consumers’ appetite for SUVs continues to grow at a similar pace seen in the last decade, SUVs would add nearly 2 million barrels a day in global oil demand by 2040, offsetting the savings from nearly 150 million electric cars.

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In an essay by Julia Poliscanova entitled: 'Mission Possible: How carmakers can reach their 2021 CO2 targets and avoid fines' published in September 2019 on the Transport & Environment website. They are a non-profit politically independent organisation, whose vision is to try and a create a 'zero-emission mobility system that is affordable and has minimal impacts on our health, climate and environment.'
 'Since we were created 30 years ago, T&E has shaped some of Europe’s most important environmental laws. We got the EU to set the world's most ambitious CO2 standards for cars and trucks but also helped uncover the dieselgate scandal; we campaigned successfully to end palm oil diesel; secured a global ban on dirty shipping fuels and the creation of the world's biggest carbon market for aviation - just to name a few. Credibility is our key asset. We are a non-profit organisation and politically independent.

They write that: 
'The EU car CO2 law setting a 95 g/km target for 2020/21 agreed a decade ago was intended to achieve a step change in car emissions crucial to decarbonising transport. But just 16 months before the target comes into force carmakers are less than halfway towards their goals.
The pitiful progress to date has been caused primarily by three factors. Firstly, a failure to significantly improve the CO2 emissions from conventional engined cars by fitting more clean technologies. Secondly, the very limited supply of zero emission and plug-in hybrid models, purposefully constrained by carmakers to keep selling conventional models. Thirdly, a huge growth in sales of SUVs that have leapt from 7% in 2009 to 36% in 2018 and are expected to reach nearly 40% by 2021.

On average, SUVs have CO2 emissions 16 g/km (or 14%) higher than an equivalent hatchback model, and for every 1% shift in the market to more SUVs, the CO2 emissions increase by 0.15 gCO2/km on average. 

In other words, the increase in SUVs since 2013 has had a CO2 effect 10 times more than the diesel decline. In reality, carmakers’ performance is even more disappointing since half of the emissions reductions since 2008 happened through manipulation of the official laboratory tests.

EXTRAS:   
'Are SUVs sabotaging the green transport revolution?'
[UK Energy Research Centre/09 Dec 2019

Professor Jillian Anable, UKERC Co-Director said:
“The rapid uptake of unnecessarily large and energy consuming vehicles just in the past few years makes a mockery of UK policy efforts towards the ‘Road to Zero’.
Effectively, we have been sleep-walking into the issue. The decarbonisation of the passenger car market can no longer rely on a distant target to stop the sales of conventional engines. We must start to phase out the most polluting vehicles immediately.
It is time to enact a strong set of regulations to transform the entire car market towards ultra low carbon rather than focusing solely on the uptake of electric vehicles.”
Dr Christian Brand, UKERC Co-Director said:
“There is now overwhelming consensus that achieving net-zero requires the phase out of fossil-fuelled vehicles to be brought forward to 2030 and this must include hybrids. 
At the same time government should take action to counter ‘unintended consequences’ such as the recent trend in the UK to buy larger, heavier cars such as SUVs. This trend is global so will require policy and industry action across all global markets including the US, EU and China.”
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                     SUVs are way worse for the planet than anyone previously thought                                    by Matt Reynolds (Wired / 6 December 2019)

David Bailey, professor of business economics at Birmingham University’s Business School. 
“Electrifying bigger crossover [SUVs] is much more difficult so you’re more likely to see [electrification] in small, compact crossovers,” says Bailey. Until now, the car industry has focused on electrifying smaller passenger cars which are easier to convert and are more attractive to environmentally-minded consumers. 
But that could be about to change. Bailey says that more compact – and therefore more fuel efficient – SUVs are starting to win out over their beefier brethren. In 2019, sales of midsized SUVs declined by 8.2 per cent while small SUVs and crossovers continued to grow by 13 per cent in the first half of the year. Among the most expensive SUVs, sales of large models were down two per cent while the compact segment was more than filling the gap, growing by 18 per cent in the same period.
“The bubble has burst for big and medium-sized SUVs. The growth is going to be in small, compact crossovers” says Bailey.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

#STOP ADANI: AUSTRALIA IS WORLD'S LARGEST EXPORTER OF COAL



Latest News












The Australian bushfires have released more CO2 than the combined annual emissions of 100 countries. Add the country’s domestic emissions and the emissions from the vast amounts of coal and gas it exports and Australia becomes the world’s 4th largest emitter after China, the USA, and India, in spite of its population of only 26 million. 



Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal. It accounts for close to 4 percent of the worldwide carbon emissions after including the contributions from its vast international sales of fossil fuels.

Australia’s stock exchange is home to 633 metals and mining companies

The Carmichael coal mine  in Central Queensland, Australia has been approved by the Queensland and federal Australian governments. 

The mine is proposed by Adani Mining,  subsidiary of India's Adani Group. 

At peak capacity the mine would produce (as of 2017) 60 million tonnes of coal a year, In court, Adani said in 2015 it expects the mine to produce 2.3 billion tonnes over 60 years. It would be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world. The mine would be the first of six large mines proposed for the area called Galilee Basin.

Exports are to leave the country via new port facilities after being transported to the coast via a new 189 km rail line. Most of the exported coal is planned to be shipped to India.The mine has drawn immense controversy the damaging environmental impacts including the potential impact upon the Great Barrier Reef, the groundwater at its site and its carbon emissions. 
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Carmichael coal mine project. Photo: Courtesy of Tom Jefferson - Greenpeace

'Carmichael - located in Queensland's unexploited Galilee Basin and proposed by Indian conglomerate Adani - would take the crown of Australia's biggest and baddest coal mine and be one of the largest single mines in the world. It would double the size of Australia's biggest existing coal mine - 60 million tonnes of coal per year at full capacity. It is planned to operate for 90 years, several decades longer than an average coal mine. The plan also involves hundreds of kilometres of new railway tracks and new coal port terminals that threaten the Great Barrier Reef. It is estimated to cost AUD 16.5 billion.
The extent and intensity of the impacts associated with this project would be profound. And yet, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is riddled with holes and errors. This raises serious questions about whether the current approvals system is adequately equipped to protect people and the environment from developments that are just too damaging.'
Source: Banktrap 
 Abbot Point, surrounded by wetlands and coral reefs, would become the world’s largest coal port if the Carmichael mine goes ahead. Photograph: Tom Jefferson/Tom Jefferson / Greenpeace
The Guardian/15th august 2017

By Josh Robertson and staff/ABC NEWS
13 Jun 2019
 Photo by Julian Meehan.
Earth Island Journal/August 5th 2019



Tuesday, February 11, 2020

CLIMATE CRISIS: GREENING RAILWAYS


The future of railways in many countries around the world is all about moving away from diesel engines towards electrification and innovations in rolling stock and energy supply. Here is a summary state of play.

 GLOBAL RAILWAYS 



These are among the results of a 2018 market study “Railway Electrification — Global Market Development” produced by SCI Verkehr GmbH, the international consultancy firm specialized in railway technology and logistics.

Of around 1.3 million km of rail lines worldwide, around 344,000 km are electrified, i.e. just over a quarter. In individual market regions, the degree of electrification varies from 1 percent (North America) to 57 percent (Western Europe). 
The degree of electrification in Asia has risen substantially in the last few years. In 2013 it was still 34 percent, but by 2017 it had reached 47 percent. Besides China’s large investments in both constructing new lines and electrifying diesel lines, India has also been an engine for growth.
The world market for railway electrification continues to grow as sustained investments in Europe and Asia lead to high current market volume [c. EUR 10 billion ($12.38 billion)],as well as growth up to 3-4% per year up to 2022. 
This reflects the trend towards electric mobility in rail transport and the gradual turning away from diesel power. In particular, this market growth is generated by a large number of metro projects as well as intensified electrification of existing diesel lines with growing operational demands. 
The European market is once again growing especially dynamically.  Momentum for the market development up to 2022 will come from the realization of projects in France and Spain which have been partially delayed due to the debt crisis as well as from electrification of diesel lines in Eastern European countries and Scandinavia. The Asian market also continues to grow. China is continuing to invest large sums in electric rail lines.

A major influence on the market volume for electrification comes from projects to construct new lines or upgrading existing ones. Such changes to the existing network are always subject to political interests and decisions. This makes infrastructure policy a fundamental driver of the market.
Although rail electrification is a niche market within rail infrastructure, it is a growth market with long-term positive prospects, as there are economic and environmental advantages to electrical operation compared to diesel.

Among the small number of international suppliers in the field of rail electrification are Siemens, Alstom and Balfour Beatty. While Balfour Beatty sold its rail divisions in many countries as part of a restructuring strategy in 2012-2014, the possible merger of Siemens and Alstom might lead to the emergence of a new world market leader which would be bigger than the two Chinese rail construction groups CREC and CRCC. [That merger fell through but now there are discussions of merger between Bombardier and Alston.]
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UK

In Blackpool, a Pendolino train was used to test the infrastructure between Blackpool North and from Preston, to ensure this 17-mile stretch can carry electric trains as the timetable is changing so that providers such as Virgin Trains and Northern can run these trains that are greener, more reliable and much quieter. Source: Transport Britain
Here in the UK the share of electrified railways comes in at a paltry 42% (June 2018). Network Rail is working on main-line electrification projects across Britain including lines in Glasgow, Manchester and London.[Update]
Rail electrification in numbers
In January 2018, 36% of the UK's rail network was electrified. Because the busiest routes are electrified, 70% of all trains in the UK are electric. 24% of the UK's trains are diesel-only. The remaining 6% of UK trains are bi-mode.
Source: DfT 

Railway must be decarbonised to help meet ambitious environment targets


Source: Railway Engineer

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers published this valuable article by David Shirres in their journal Professional Engineering  on 26 July 2019: Since time of writing, Grant Shapps has become the new Secretary of State for Transport and the government's Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore has signed legislation to commit the UK to a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050.
The new net-zero target by 2050 [was] recommended by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The committee considers that this new target is achievable with known technologies but requires urgent policy changes.This requires deep decarbonisation of the national grid with a major expansion of renewable and low-carbon generation plus carbon capture and storage.
A CCC report calls for extensive electrification, with domestic gas boilers replaced by electric heating and widespread use of battery-powered road vehicles. As a result, electricity production needs to double by 2050. This report barely mentions the rail sector. 
  • Rail greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per passenger are typically a quarter of those from road transport. In 2017 rail transport produced only 2m tonnes GHG, compared with cars (59.6mt) vans (29.4mt), buses (3.4mt) and HGV (20.8mt).  
  •  A shift of 3% of passengers and 3% of freight from road to rail would give annual GHG emissions savings of 2m tonnes – the rail sector’s total emissions.
DIESEL
  • The rail industry must also address environmental concerns about diesel particulate emissions. As more cities create ultra-low emission zones, diesel train engine fumes in stations will become increasingly unacceptable. 
  • Last year, the government called for diesel-only trains to be off the tracks by 2040 and challenged the industry to develop alternative traction. 
BI-MODE TRAINS 
[Definition: A bi-mode locomotive) is powered either from an electricity supply or 
by using the onboard diesel engine 
  • [Former] Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said that the new East-West rail line will not be electrified and that instead it will have “a completely new generation of low-emission trains”. 
  • Having experienced electrification cost overruns, the government’s view seems to be that new types of self-powered traction are needed to deliver a zero-carbon railway.
  • Grayling declared that bi-mode trains are the “best available technology”. Bi-modes are not ‘diesel-only’ and so are exempt from the 2040 deadline to remove other diesel trains.
Yet the reality is that they will spend most of their lives lugging around idle diesel engines -  which constitute 8% of their weight - under electric wires. In diesel mode, it would have the same performance as the trains they replace. 
HYDROGEN TRAINS
  • The only viable alternative self-powered rail traction with range and performance comparable to diesel is hydrogen trains. Yet these cannot deliver the power of electric trains and, due to conversion losses, require three times their energy. The low energy density of compressed hydrogen requires a pressure vessel eight times the size of a diesel tank.
 GO ELECTRIC
  • Electric trains are the only form of transport that offers high speed and high acceleration with potentially zero-GHG emissions, as they take power directly from the grid. So their carbon footprint will reduce as electricity supply is decarbonised.
  • Currently, the respective annual average GHG emissions for electric and diesel rail passenger vehicles are 93 and 352 tonnes. Projected grid decarbonisation will reduce electric vehicle emissions to 39 tonnes by 2040.  
  • For freight locomotives, the annual electric and diesel emissions are 122 and 866 tonnes, with emissions from electric locomotives forecast to be cut to 52 tonnes by 2040. Electrification is the only way to decarbonise rail freight as there is no low-carbon option for self-powered locomotives.   
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NETWORK RAIL: A Guide to Overhead Electrification [Feb 2015]


At the moment, all trains on un-electrified routes are powered by diesel engines, similar in concept if not size to those under the bonnets of many lorries. However, electrification is preferred for major railway lines because electric trains are lighter, cleaner, cheaper, quieter and faster to accelerate. They allow more trains to be run more efficiently and more quickly. 
Electric trains are cheaper than diesel trains because: 
• They are cheaper to build, 20% cheaper to lease and maintenance costs are typically 33% lower.
• Fuel costs are typically 45% lower because electric trains are lighter and more efficient and electricity from the National Grid is cheaper than diesel fuel. 
• Electric trains are lighter and therefore cause on average 13% less wear to the tracks which means maintenance costs are therefore lower
Electric trains are environmentally superior because:
• They do not pollute the air during operation
• Power stations generating the electricity are more efficient and have more sophisticated and effective emissions controls. They therefore emit 20-30% less carbon per passenger mile than diesel.
  •  They are quieter and vibrate less due to the absence of diesel engines.
• Electric trains provide a better service because they have a higher power-to-weight ratio, which means that they are generally faster than diesel trains and accelerate more quickly, which reduces the journey times.

BATTERIES

Vivarail Class 230 Successfully Completes 40-Mile Battery Tests: Vivarail, which is transforming old London Underground rolling stock into battery trains – among other things – says it has been conducting tests on its Class 230 battery train during which it managed to run on battery power for 40 miles many times. Battery power is an important bridging technology for lines that are only partially electrified and will help reduce the environmental impact of the rail sector even further. The Wales Borders franchise will operate 5 Class 230s that are diesel-battery hybrids. https://railway-news.com/industry-insider-week-3-2020
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HYDRO FLEX


All aboard Britain’s first hydrogen train
By Tom Burridge Transport correspondent, BBC News 20.6 2019
Hydrogen-powered trains are arguably the greenest trains out there.

"Mini power stations on wheels", is how Alex Burrows from the University of Birmingham describes them.He is the project director for the 'Hydroflex' train which was showcased at an event in the West Midlands. Unlike diesel trains, hydrogen-powered trains do not emit harmful gases, instead using hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water and heat.It is "a fully green fuel", says Helen Simpson from rail rolling stock company Porterbrook, which created the Hydroflex in partnership with Birmingham University's centre for Railway Research.
But hydrogen trains are still incredibly rare.The only two in active service in the entire world are in Germany. Britain is looking to become one of the next countries to start running them.
And the 'Hydroflex' is a tester train where the technology is being trialled.
The hydrogen tanks, the fuel cell and the batteries sit inside a carriage where passengers would normally sit.In future commercial models that equipment will have to be stored away above and beneath the train. 

So why is this all happening now?
A quarter of the UK's trains run solely off diesel. The government wants them all gone by 2040.
"The carbon writing is on the wall", says Mike Muldoon from French train manufacturer Alstom, the company behind Germany's hydrogen trains.He argues the rail sector has to get greener "if we are going to convince more people to shift from car to train."
But until the day when hydrogen trains are ferrying passengers around the UK, diesel-powered trains are a necessity. That is because more than two thirds of our rail lines do not have overhead cabling which electric trains need to run.
So trains are bi-mode, which means they can run off electricity, where there are overhead cables, and off diesel the rest of the time. But bi-mode trains are, in environmental terms, far from perfect. And electrifying rail lines does not come cheaply for the government.
Regional routes which carry relatively few passengers are unlikely to be electrified soon.
And that is where hydrogen trains come in.The hope is that they will be carrying passengers in the UK in two years.
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Hydrogen fuels cells on Alstom's iLint hydrogen train (Credit: Alstom)
 Can Britain just use the same hydrogen trains as Germany? The short answer is no. That's because German trains are taller."Because the Victorians went first they built trains smaller", says Mike Muldoon from Alstom. Smaller trains means less space to fit all the technology on board. The challenge now is to design trains which have enough hydrogen in their tanks to last an entire day."The technology should be discreetly hidden", says Mike Muldoon, Alstom's UK head of business development.
For example its hydrogen trains in Germany, which are similar to a future UK train design, have the fuel cells in the roof and the batteries underneath the train. 
Porterbrook's 'Hydroflex' train is bi-mode, meaning it can be powered by electricity made from hydrogen or take electricity from overhead cables. The plan is that the train will begin testing on the UK mainline in March.
Helen Simpson, from Porterbrook, says hydrogen trains are "very practical" for replacing long-distance diesel routes.
Source https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48698532

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INDIA



The 4th largest railway network in the world
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government’s determination to push through with the “complete electrification” of the Indian Railways’ 69,182-route kilometre network within a compressed time frame of three years has triggered a serious departmental war that threatens to lead to time and cost overruns.

Modi govt’s electrification push so far
Official documents show that since 2014, when the NDA government came to power, 217 electrification projects consisting of 31,468 route kilometres have been sanctioned. The pace of electrification work has also been bumped up. In 2013-14, the budgetary sanction was for a mere 610 route kilometres, but it went up each year  until, in March 2019, 35,488 route kilometres of the Indian Railways had been electrified.

 Targets since then have been steeper: 7,000 route kilometres in 2019-20; 10,500 km in 2020-21, and 10,500 km in 2021-22. But all these plans have run into complications, thanks to the absence of a blueprint to execute them.



No plan for scrapped diesel locos
Midway through the project, Railway Board officials are seen grappling with a critical concern: How to monetise the massive number of diesel engines that will go out of service due to electrification.
Responding to a questionnaire from ThePrint, ministry spokesperson Shubha Gupta said by 31 March 2020, the zonal railways have been instructed to phase out 403 diesel locomotives that have reached 31 years of age. Of these, only 14 are providing main line service; the remaining have been deployed for shunting/departmental services, or been “grounded”.
The older variety of diesel locomotives in India — called ALCOs after their original American manufacturer — are designed to run for 36 years (called ‘codal life’), but sources say the government has reduced that to 31 years to fast forward the electrification plan. The ministry refused to confirm or deny this.
In all, approximately 1,000 diesel engines in full working condition are reported to have been “stabled” or grounded so far.
Official targets call for the stabling of 4,000 diesel locos in the next two years. According to an official note circulated after the second meeting of the ‘Parivartan Sangoshthi’ (introspection camp on rail reform) that took place in New Delhi on 7-8 December, the ministry has not yet evolved a policy on monetising the diesel engines that will get stabled.
In the past, diesel engines that have hit their ‘codal life’ have been routinely sold off as scrap, with 80 per cent of the parts being retained to use as spares for newer engines.
“But, given the determination of the government to push through the complete electrification plan in a compressed time frame, without having finalised a concrete plan to monetise the diesel assets, one confronts a situation when diesel engines in perfect running condition are being condemned to rust away and perish,” an official said.
If these engines are sold off as scrap, they would, at best, fetch between Rs 25-50 lakh each. On the other hand, the cost of refurbishing 4,000 diesel engines for possible export to Asian or African countries would work out to Rs 8,000 crore at the rate of Rs 2 crore per loco.
Officials said the refurbished engines would fetch a price of approximately Rs 5 crore each in the international market. But there is a catch: Just a few countries use the broad gauge diesel engines that are in operation in India, and the demand for such engines in the international market is rather low. In the last 20 years, India has managed to sell less than 1,000 such engines to countries such as Tanzania, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“It is unlikely that India will find a bulk buyer for such a large number of diesel engines,” ministry sources said.
‘Dual mode’ fails to get on the rails
The railways had announced with much fanfare in 2016 that existing diesel locomotives will be converted to ‘dual mode’ engines that could run on both diesel and electric traction. The government had said with this technological breakthrough, scrapped diesel engines could also be put to use.
In the last three years, however, engineers at the Varanasi-based Diesel Locomotive Works have continued to struggle to build the first prototype. The dual mode engines have failed to clear the mandatory performance and safety tests from the Lucknow-headquartered Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
Even if they do clear the tests, dual mode engines will not come cheap — according to the ministry’s response to ThePrint, the estimated cost of each would be Rs 18 crore.

High cost of electrification

Meanwhile, the decision to abruptly remove 4,000 diesel engines from mainline operations will necessitate the manufacture/purchase of an equal number of electric engines. At an average cost of Rs 12 crore for each electric loco, the total cost will come to Rs 48,000 crore, plus the loss incurred on the diesel locos, which could end up being about half that figure.
This means that when the full electrification plan is completed, it will have cost the railways in excess of Rs 1 lakh crore — approximately Rs 50,000 crore to convert the 29,880 kilometres of un-electrified tracks, Rs 50,000 crore for electric locos, another Rs 5,000 crore to construct sheds to house these locos, and the additional cost of training loco pilots.
Given the precarious state of rail finances, rustling up the funds to execute the electrification plan seems a tall order. As highlighted in a recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, the railways’ operating ratio touched an alarming figure of 98.4 per cent during 2017-18 — meaning that it spent 98.4 paisa to earn every rupee.  
No savings on fuel bills 
There’s another aspect of this process that has left Railway Board officials scratching their heads: Despite diesel locos being stabled and new electric locos being introduced, the railways’ overall fuel consumption has either remained the same or even risen in the last few years.
Sources say there is no clarity yet on why consumption has plateaued or risen despite the large-scale electrification and scrapping of diesel locos. They propound two theories, the first of which is that while old diesel engines have been scrapped on paper, those working on the main line continue to operate at the same level as before.
Another point raised by a ministry official is the change in the procurement practice for locomotives. Earlier, engines were purchased based on freight and passenger traffic projections calculated by the Traffic Directorate, but under the current dispensation, the production of electric engines “is being inflated in a random manner”.
The other possibility is that while more routes have been electrified, these sections are not fully usable. An official said on the condition of anonymity that several lines have been electrified in patches, and thus still require diesel traction. The ministry did not comment on the matter.
“One therefore has a situation when both diesel and electric engines are becoming surplus and are idling away,” the official said. 

Record Capital Expenditure for Indian Railways 

Source: railwaygazette.com 6th Feb 2020.

A 17% year-on-year increase in capital expenditure for Indian Railways in 2020-21 was announced when Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman presented the national budget on February 1. The Ministry of Railways said the emphasis would be on continuing capacity enhancement works, and accelerating implementation to make Indian Railways ‘the growth engine of the economy’. Electrification of 6 000 route-km is targeted, with wiring of the entire broad gauge network now envisaged for completion by 2023-24.

GERMANY




 Following the positive outcome of a feasibility study, DB Cargo has confirmed it is to buy 50 Toshiba diesel-battery hybrid 100 km/h locomotives for shunting and short-distance freight operations, and will lease a further 50 locos. The HDB800 locos will be equipped with Toshiba’s SCiB lithium-ion battery system.DB said 50 hybrid locos would replace 61 of its older locomotives, offering ‘considerably’ reduced diesel consumption, lower maintenance costs and higher average fleet availability. It will be possible to charge the batteries via an external power supply, providing the ability to increase the proportion of renewable energy used.

‘Their new drive systems will allow our shunting yards to work in a more resource-efficient way, with annual energy savings of 30% and diesel fuel savings of 1 million litres per year. Alongside this, modern technology will make using the vehicles easier for our staff.’


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SOLAR

DB to Feed Solar Power Directly into Its Traction Network 
Deutsche Bahn says it will feed solar power directly into its traction network for the first time.
The German state-rail operator has signed a contract with Enerparc for a new solar park measuring around 70 football pitches in size. 60 percent of the electricity DB currently consumes comes from renewable sources. The company hopes to make this 100 percent by 2038.
Deutsche Bahn is already the biggest consumer of green electricity in Germany. According to the company’s own calculations 60 percent of its electricity currently comes from renewables. This percentage will rise to 61 percent by 2021 and to 100 percent by 2038.
Torsten Schein, Head of the Management Board at DB Energie, said: “We're responsible for the acquisition of electricity for the rail network and are Germany's fifth-largest electricity provider. By feeding this solar electricity directly into the network, we are gathering experience and insights regarding supplying the railway with renewables.”
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Deutsche Bahn set up a team of experts for the express purpose of preparing the railways for the changing climatic conditions. One example is DB’s extensive vegetation management in order to become more resilient to the climate. Further projects include ones that cool infrastructure, such as aerogel, and insights from bionics.
Following the successful tests of the cooling effect of white rails in summer 2019, DB is now white rails in actual passenger operations. To do that, the company has painted a thousand metres of track on the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed line with environmentally friendly paint. This real-world test is to inform DB of the durability and wear of the paint. It will also provide insights into how best to apply the paint over long distances. Substantive results are expected in a year. These will then provide the foundation for a potential expansion of the project on further lines.
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FUEL CELL TRAINS

The Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund (RMV) subsidiary Fahma GmbH, which operates the Taunusbahn, has chosen a winner of its Europe-wide tender for 27 fuel cell trains: Alstom. The French rolling stock manufacturer will deliver the Coradia iLint units in time for the timetable change in December 2022. Alstom says this order will give Fahma GmbH the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell trains.
The contract also includes an order for the supply of hydrogen and for the maintenance and provision of reserve capacities for 25 years. Alstom will supply the hydrogen in co-operation with Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG. The filling station is situated in the Höchst industrial park.
The full value of the contract is 500 million euros (557 million USD), of which Alstom’s share is 360 million euros (401 million USD).
Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Enak Ferlemann, said:
“The purchase of 27 vehicles is a lighthouse project for fuel cell mobility, about which I’m very pleased. The federal government supports this investment in climate-friendly mobility by assuming 40 percent of the additional vehicle costs incurred in comparison to diesel vehicles, as well as by providing proportional support for the hydrogen filling station. The project can serve as a model for the German transport ministry. We hope that many other projects in Germany will follow this example.
The 27 hydrogen fuel cell trains will replace the existing fleet of diesel trains on the RB11, RB12, RB15 and RB16 lines.
Tarek Al-Wazir, the Minister of Transport for the German state of Hesse, said:
“On Hesse’s tracks you can still find many diesel vehicles today as overhead lines are missing. Fuel cell traction is therefore a quickly feasible alternative to expensive electrification. In Hessen, transport is responsible for one third of greenhouse gas emissions. Steam instead of diesel soot is therefore an exciting approach. We will continue to actively support the project and make every effort to ensure that the necessary adaptations to the rail infrastructure around the hydrogen filling station in"
Hydrogen Refuelling
The hydrogen fuel cells will be refuelled at the Industriepark Höchst in Frankfurt, an “innovative chemical and pharmaceutical site in Europe’s heartland”. It is well situated for access to international transport routes and is home to more than 90 companies, such as Bayer, Sanofi and Celanese.
Dr Joachim Kreysing, Managing Director of Infraserv Höchst, which operates the industrial park, said:
“With its existing hydrogen infrastructure, Industriepark Höchst is an ideal filling station location for fuel-cell vehicles. The operation of the hydrogen filling station for trains as a supplement to the tanking facilities for buses and trucks fits in perfectly with our concept, with which we as an innovative company are further developing our energy supply concepts and are relying on environmentally friendly energy carriers.”
 Alstom’s Coradia iLint
The Coradia iLint, which is already in operation elsewhere in Germany, is the first passenger train in the world that uses electrical power from hydrogen fuel cells. The Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen began operating Alstom’s hydrogen trains in September 2018 and will operate a total of 14 of them from 2021. This makes RMV the second German operator to adopt the technology. 
They are locally emission free, with the only by-products being steam and liquid water. Another emissions area where these trains have a positive scoresheet is noise. They produce decibel levels on par with suburban trains.
Dr Jörg Nikutta, Managing Director, Alstom Germany and Austria, said:
“We are very pleased that Alstom’s zero-emission Coradia iLint regional trains will be operated in Hesse in the near future, allowing climate friendly transportation of passengers in the Taunus region. This new success, coupled with Coradia iLint’s previous success, demonstrates how trendsetting and sustainable transportation is already a reality.”
Coradia iLint for RMV
Each of the 27 trains will come with passenger information systems with real-time information monitors. They will have 160 seats per vehicle as well as space for bicycles, wheelchair and prams. Passengers will also benefit from complimentary wifi. Once these 27 trains are in service, capacity on the Taunus subnetwork will rise by up to 40 percent. This is particularly positive for commuters who travel during rush hour.
Prof. Knut Ringat, Managing Director, RMV, said:
“This award sets two records: With the commissioning of the new vehicles in 2022, RMV will have the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell trains in passenger transport and it is the largest order in the history of our subsidiary fahma. After electrically powered trains, electric buses and hydrogen buses, we are now offering our passengers a further opportunity to travel without emissions. This milestone makes me proud and is a giant step towards a mobility without pollutants.”Ulrich Krebs, District Administrator, Hochtaunuskreis and Deputy Chairman of RMV’s Supervisory Board, said:
“In addition to electrifying the S5 to Usingen, the fuel cell trains offer various advantages for routes that have not yet been electrified. Commuters benefit from more space in the trains and a significantly quieter journey because the engine noise of the vehicles is quieter due to the electric drive. This is also an advantage for the people living near the lines.”
https://railway-news.com/germany-27-hydrogen-fuel-cell-trains-alstom/