German officials have confirmed to incorporate the world’s first-ever hydrogen-powered passenger train fleet. It will replace 15 diesel trains, which were previously being operated on tracks that lacked electric supply in Lower Saxony, Germany. The fleet comprises 14 trains, which use fuel cells to generate power, making it the cleanest-greenest train fleet ever.
The trains manufactured by French company Alstom are operated by regional rail company LNVG on routes between the northern towns of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde, and Buxtehude.
Alstom says the Coradia iLint trains have a range of up to 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) and a maximum speed of 140 kmph (87 mph).
By using hydrogen produced with renewable energy the trains will save 1.6 million litres (more than 422,000 gallons) of diesel fuel a year.
Hydrogen is currently produced as a byproduct in chemical processes, but German specialty gas company Linde plans to manufacture it locally using only renewable energy within three years.
Hydrogen has been looked at as a potent replacement for fossil fuels in the transportation industry. Fuel cells of smaller sizes are also being developed for their utilisation in cars. Although, the technology is still in its nascent stage for a mass-market product. The challenge of transporting hydrogen and its retail is a challenge, which still needs to be ironed out.