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East Japan Railway Co introduces 200 million yen hybrid trains in move to reduce emissions

Posted by gmarkets on 3 October, 2007

Regular passenger runs of hybrid trains were set to begin on 31 July 2007 in Japan, reported The Courier Mail (30/7/2007, p. 13).

An eco-friendly endeavour: The trains were to undertake a short mountain route from Nakagomi station, signifying the first time that a diesel-electric hybrid train had been put into commercial service. “It’s part of our efforts to be green,” Yasuaki Kikuchi, a spokesperson for East Japan Railway Co, said during a trial run.

Setting an innovative example: The Kiha E200, as it was known, was equipped with a diesel engine, two electric motors under each of its cars and lithium ion batteries on the roof. Powered by its four electric motors, the train would only employ its diesel engine when climbing a hill or if the batteries ran low. The batteries would be recharged when the train slowed down.

The cost issue: Cost remained a hurdle. The Japanese train, which boosted fuel efficiency by 20 per cent and reduced emissions by up to 60 per cent, cost nearly 200 million yen ($1.96 million), according to Kikuchi. This was twice as much as a standard train.

The Courier Mail, 30/7/2007, p. 13

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