JR East Unveils Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid Train

Economy Technology Guide to Japan

Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, showed to the press Friday a hydrogen-powered test train equipped with a fuel cell system and storage batteries.

The first such test train in Japan is named HYBARI, which stands for Hydrogen-Hybrid Advanced Rail Vehicle for Innovation. JR East will conduct test runs for the two-car train on the Nanbu Line and some other lines from late March, aiming to start commercial use in 2030.

High-pressure hydrogen from a storage tank on the train is provided to the fuel cell system developed by Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> to generate electricity through chemical reaction with oxygen in the air, and the electricity is sent to the storage batteries for use to drive the motors.

The development cost for the test train totaled some 4 billion yen. HYBARI can travel up to about 140 kilometers per charge of hydrogen, according to the railway operator.

The JR East group has a target of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions effectively to zero in fiscal 2050.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press