Japan’s first hydrogen hybrid train gears up for trial runs
JR East aims to begin commercial service in 2030
According to The News on japan, East Japan Railway has unveiled the country’s first hydrogen-powered train. The train has a top speed of about 100 kilometers per hour.
The firm hopes to replace its diesel models with the new design, which emits no CO2. JR East developed the train with Toyota Motor and Hitachi.
When hydrogen in the rooftop tanks reacts with oxygen in the air, it produces electricity.
“Trains powered only by batteries have short ranges, so we looked at using hydrogen, which is already commercialized for automobiles,” said Shoichi Oizumi of the JR East group’s Research and Development Center.
Hydrogen-powered passenger cars and buses are already running in Japan, but the law doesn’t allow trains to use the fuel.
JR East had to apply for an exemption for its new prototype. The rail firm plans to conduct test-runs from next month and have the train running commercially in 2030.