Russian Railways, Transmashholding and Rusnano signed an agreement on the production of shunting locomotives using a hybrid drive based on domestic lithium-ion storage batteries for operation at passenger stations of large cities. The signed document provides for the possibility of supplying 131 locomotives to Russian Railways within 6 years after the first locomotive is accepted.
Under the agreement, Transmashholding will develop and manufacture locomotives, while Rusnano’s subsidiary Liotech will supply lithium-ion traction batteries. Currently, Novosibirsk Plant “Liotech” is the only Russian industrial manufacturer of lithium-ion storage batteries. The company”s batteries are used in autonomous electric buses and trolleybuses, electric forklifts and mining electric locomotives.
“In the wake of the latest global trends, Transmashholding is ready to create an innovative rolling stock that will not only significantly reduce atmospheric emissions, but also reduce energy consumption, thus increasing economic efficiency. We are confident that a modern shunting locomotive with a domestic hybrid drive on lithium-ion storage batteries will be in demand by our partners,” Kirill Lipa, the Director General of Transmashholding said.
The locomotives manufactured by Transmashholding and Rusnano Group will become the first production locomotive of this type in our country. The development of hybrid locomotives is a complex and complicated project involving the development, production, certification, performance verification and subsequent maintenance throughout the life cycle, including disposal of the locomotive and storage batteries after their service life.
Shunting locomotives with hybrid drive and traction lithium-ion energy storage batteries are developed and put into operation by many advanced manufacturers of traction rolling stock in Europe, Japan, China and other countries. This is a new and actively developing direction.
“A large order for hybrid locomotives from Russian Railways will allow Liotech and Transmashholding to develop and manufacture the first batch of pilot machines highly demanded on the Russian market. According to our estimates, the Russian fleet of shunting locomotives operated by both Russian Railways and industrial enterprises includes some 18 thousand vehicles. In case of a transition to hybrid technology, Rusnano estimates the market of lithium-ion storage batteries for locomotives at RUB 8 billion [USD 123 million] annually,” Anatoly Chubais, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Rusnano said.