Flirt Akku train manufactured by Stadler has set the record to be officially entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for a battery train journey in battery-only mode. Travelling on the route from Berlin to Warnemünde in the company of independent technical consultants, the Flirt Akku test carrier reached a range of exactly 224 km at wintry temperatures around freezing point.
“We designed and calculated the vehicle for an operational range of 80 km, depending on the route requirements of the respective network. But on various journeys testing the technology, we were able to realise significantly greater ranges, so that we even dared to attempt the world record at wintry temperatures. The vehicle had already had to cope with various scenarios like making up for unplanned delays on the track or operating under extremely hot or cold weather conditions in the testing after all,” Evelyn Thiel, the Technical Project Leader for the Flirt Akku at Stadler said.
The three-unit Flirt Akku used for the record journey has been developed since 2016 as a local CO2-neutral mobility solution for the climate-friendly operation of non-electrified railway routes. The vehicle was approved by the German Federal Railway Office and introduced to the public for the very first time in 2018. Ever since when the Flirt Akku test carrier has travelled around 15,000 km in battery-only operation, before setting the world record for a regional train journey in battery-only mode without additional charge now.
“We are very proud to be the official holder of the world record for travelling the longest route in battery-only mode with a regional train now – having reached this result under weather conditions which are anything but ideal for batteries. (…) As a market and technology leader in battery technologies for rail vehicles, the decision to undertake the record journey was a logical consequence,” Ansgar Brockmeyer, the Deputy CEO of Stadler said.
With Flirt Akku train, Stadler has developed a so-called battery-electric multiple unit (BEMU) that will run as both a classic EMU under overhead contact cable or battery-operated on unelectrified routes. This makes it optimal for partly electrified routes that currently still need to be served with diesel trains. Stadler had already won the first green technology tender in Germany and sold 55 Flirt Akkus to NAH.SH, the Schleswig-Holstein Local Transport Association in 2019.
In November 2021, another order for 44 vehicles followed from Deutsche Bahn Regio. In addition to which Stadler is also building the first hydrogen-powered Flirt for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) in the USA.