Minister visits Rolls-Royce to inspect MTU hybrid drives

The MTU Hybrid PowerPack combines an MTU Stage V diesel engine with an electric motor/generator and an EnergyPack battery system.

Winfried Hermann, Minister of Transport for the German state Baden-Württemberg, visited Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit in Friedrichshafen, Germany, where he was introduced to the company’s future technologies for environmentally friendly mobility and power generation.

He was especially interested in the MTU Hybrid PowerPack for regional trains, as Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Transport has reached an agreement that Rolls-Royce will cooperate with train manufacturer Alstom to examine the economic feasibility of repowering existing Lint trains with hybrid drives.

MTU’s hybrid technology can cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 25 per cent, depending on routes and operational profiles, while using pure-electric mode in stations and inner-city areas reduces traction noise by up to 75 per cent.

Transport Minister Winfried Hermann said: “We have to make use of all technical possibilities in order to reduce CO2 emissions. I am excited about the MTU Hybrid-PowerPack: it is a promising innovation which has been developed in our home state of Baden-Württemberg – and we would like to trial it here as well.”

Rolls-Royce Power Systems head of industrial business Lars Kräft, who explained the MTU system to the Minister, said: “The MTU Hybrid PowerPack is currently establishing itself as drive system for the future on non-electrified routes. We would be delighted if trains with our hybrid drives could improve rail services in Baden-Württemberg, which is located virtually right on the doorsteps of our headquarters. Significant reductions of noise and emissions would be achieved, without any additional costs for changes in infrastructure.”

Lars Kräft, head of industrial business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems (second from right), aided by Rolls-Royce Power Systems CEO Andreas Schell (right), explains the MTU Hybrid PowerPack to Minister Winfried Hermann (centre).

The MTU Hybrid PowerPack is an environmentally friendly drive system that offers the benefits of both battery and diesel-powered traction systems. It combines an MTU diesel engine, built to EU Stage V requirements, with an electric unit, that can function both as a motor and as a generator, and with the MTU EnergyPack battery system that stores energy recovered during braking.

Over the past few years, Rolls-Royce has refined this technology until it is ready for full production. Among the first customers are Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail and British leasing company Porterbrook, which has agreed to trial two MTU Hybrid PowerPack under a Bombardier-built Turbostar diesel multiple unit during 2020.

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