CRRC Completes China’s First Hybrid Hydrogen Fuel Cell Locomotive

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CRRC Completes China’s First Hybrid Hydrogen Fuel Cell Locomotive


State-owned rolling stock manufacturer CRRC Corporation [1766:HK] has finished its self-developed hybrid locomotive, equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell on January 27, as reported by on January 28. This is China’s first hybrid locomotive and is a breakthrough in use cases for hydrogen energy technology in the country, allowing locomotives to attain zero emission of carbon and other pollutants. This locomotive’s designed speed is 80 kilometers per hour with a maximum traction load exceeding 5,000 tons on flat, straight roads. It can run continuously for 24.5 hours on a full tank of hydrogen.

CRRC stated that its trial data showed the energy conversion efficiency of the locomotive’s hydrogen fuel cell is much higher than that of a traditional internal combustion unit. Moreover, the hybrid hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive adopts a modular design, meaning it is easy to be customized according to client requirements for power levels and different energy sources. Without changing railway base lines or setting up a new power grid, the locomotive can be applied to multiple situations and places for operation, rescue, and other tasks, especially in subways, tunnels, mines, and other relatively closed environments.

China has had several hydrogen energy use cases in the aerospace, automobile, and urban tram industries. CRRC’s new locomotive is also the latest example of applying hydrogen energy to the domestic railway sector. Currently, commercial vehicles are a priority in the transport sector to integrate application of hydrogen energy, where logistics vehicles accounted for 60% of commercial vehicles and coaches for nearly 40% by the end of 2019. According to China Securities Journal, from 2020 to 2025, the output value of China’s hydrogen energy industry will hit RMB1tr, with 50,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and 200 hydrogen-refueling stations. From 2026 to 2035, the output value will reach RMB5tr, with 1,500 hydrogen refueling stations and 15m vehicles.