Eco friendly mobility: East Japan Railway, Hitachi and Toyota to Develop Hybrid Railway Vehicles Powered by Hydrogen

GO ECO GREEN21. East Japan Railway Company (“JR East”), Hitachi, Ltd. (“Hitachi”), and Toyota Motor Corporation (“Toyota”) have entered into an agreement to collaborate on development of test railway vehicles equipped with hybrid systems that use hydrogen powered fuel cells and storage batteries as their source of electricity. By collaborating to develop these test railway vehicles, we aim to further improve the environmental superiority of railways and realize a sustainable society.

Contributing to a Carbon-Free Society with Next-Generation Railway Vehicles
As efforts are made throughout the world to create sustainable societies, the same is also true for the railway sector, a means of mass transport, where there is high anticipation for next-generation rolling stock that operates using clean energy, such as hydrogen. Hydrogen ensures minimal environmental impact as it does not emit any carbon dioxide when used as an energy source and it can be produced from various raw materials using renewable energy. A report carried by Energía LImpia XXI states that the development of innovative rolling stock powered by hydrogen will therefore contribute to the development of a low-carbon society as it helps to curb global warming and diversify energy sources.

Collaboration to Develop Hybrid (Fuel Cell) Test Vehicles
Combining their railway and automotive technologies, namely JR East’s railway vehicle design and manufacturing technologies. Hitachi’s railway hybrid drive system technologies developed with JR East, and Toyota’s technologies acquired through development of the Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle and the SORA fuel cell bus, the three companies will adapt the fuel cells used in automobiles for railway applications.

Together, they will create hybrid (fuel cell) test vehicles with the aim of achieving the high-power output control necessary to drive railway vehicles, which are much larger than automobiles.

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