Bob Stuart
At what point in the energy cycle is the savings realized? Is this a matter of technical progress or advanced accounting?
The Doubter
Wouldn't it be better to electrify the line instead of spending so much on Li battery packs and charging infrastructure? It would be much more efficient than this option. And the savings in the long run will be enormous.
Simon Redford
I couldn't agree more with Bob. Is this 11% less kWh than the kWh shaft power of the diesel, 11% less than the calorific value of the diesel, 11% less carbon emissions? It says "part of a hybrid system", so does this imply that the electric loco works in tandem with diesel locos or that it has an on-board diesel despite being described as "100% battery powered"? Some details would be useful!
FB36
We need to realize that replacing all existing diesel trains, trucks, ships (even aircraft) will take a long time & that is why all countries need to start producing biodiesel/biofuel at large scales (to make them all carbon-neutral)!
& not by using food crops but by using all possible industrial/agricultural/forestry waste/biomass & trash & sewage!
Douglas Rogers
Is the fuel saving due to the regenerative braking capability delivered by the batteries? The batteries allow any fuel to be used at some efficiency. Electrified rail is less efficient than battery at some range.
Signguy
No country in the world has the infrastructure in place to handle all the new cars, let alone this behemoth!
And we are one of the few countries even trying.
mikewax
there would be no way to electrically insulate the rails because the contact surface between rail and wheels can't be covered up.
DaveWesely
FB. Bio fuel is no different than regular petro fuel. They both emit CO2 into the atmosphere. And, Signguy, as for the electrical grid keeping up with the additional transportation demand, the "shortage" does not exist. If it did, coal would not be going bankrupt. Wind turbines are not sprouting up all over due to philosophical desires, they provide a better return on investment than fossil fuel plants.
bergamot69
Hardly the first battery electric locomotive- they've been in use on the London Underground since 1905!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Underground_battery-electric_locomotives
Karmudjun
Good write up Nick. I guess this is part of the GE initiative that was sold off well before the pandemic.
Many cities in the Northeast used electric locomotives in municipalities to reduce the coal soot of the external combustion steamies. Some used pantographs and overhead wires, others used a third rail. With California emission standards a combination of pure battery locomotives with diesel road engines pulling a consist would allow for non-exhaust locomotion through the zero emission air-space.

The fuel savings of hybrid locomotives was a remarkable start - but still produced tons of CO2.
However - Why not heavier alternate non-lithium rechargeable? Maybe Graphene Manufacturing Group of Australia could trial a couple of million coin cells to power the 3rd generation of Wabtec's battery only engine. Aluminum ion wonder cells - the rails can handle the weight.