September 16, 2008 GE Transportation will parade its Evolution Hybrid locomotive prototype at the RSI Railway Technology Exhibition in Chicago later this month. Promising significant fuel and emissions savings, the diesel-electric hybrid technology captures and stores the energy generated by braking a 207 ton train and delivers it back to the propulsion system in the form of an on-demand, 2000 horsepower boost.
The Hybrid is a continuation of the company's focus on the cutting fuel and emissions as seen in the Evolution Series locomotive launched in 2002, as well as the development of a hybrid tugboat.
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While the Evolution Series delivers a 5% higher fuel efficiency and a 40% reduction in NOx and particulate matter emissions emissions compared to GE’s pre-Evolution Series locomotives, the new hybrid set-up will stretch this to a fuel saving of up to 15% and an emissions reduction of 50%. GE estimates that if the entire pre-2001 North American could be replaced by this technology, it would equate to removing one third of all cars from US roads in terms of nitrous oxide emissions and save big dollars in fuel.
The system uses lead-free rechargeable batteries and is computer controlled in order to balance fuel efficiency and horsepower needs. The on-demand boost system also enables the locomotive to operate more efficiently in higher altitudes and up steep inclines.
The Evolution Hybrid prototype will be at the RSI Railway Technology Exhibition in Chicago from September 21 - 24, 2008.