Skoda accelerates train electrification through conversion and innovation
Skoda is a world leader in train manufacturing and is accelerating its transition to zero-emission rail vehicles, widening its offering of battery-powered trains, and rolling stocks.
The first phase of Skoda’s project with Forsee Power includes the conversion of 4 existing electric multiple unit (EMU) trains, adding a battery system to allow autonomy when no catenaries are available. The use of batteries not only prevents CO2 emission, but it also avoids the very high costs related to tracks electrification infrastructures when the railways network is not connected to the grid. Finally, this EMU battery allows a transition to CO2-free transport without railway line operation stop to guarantee public service mission continuity.
The retrofit of existing EMU trains is a first step. In the meantime, Forsee Power is preparing for the next phase of Skoda’s BEMU trains. In fact, the project covers 4 trains with an extension option to serial production.
FORSEE PULSE RAIL will allow 80km of autonomy to Skoda regional trains
The rail transport market is a strategic area for the Forsee Power Group who acquired Centum Adetel Transportation (Holiwatt) in 2021, providing Forsee Power with an offer of chargers, wayside energy storage systems, ultra-high-power battery systems, and converters for a wider range of application. It completed the existing Forsee Power offer of battery systems, including FORSEE PULSE RAIL, a lithium-ion LTO battery technology dedicated to the rail market.
FORSEE PULSE RAIL traction battery systems will be placed on the roof of the Skoda trains, including a Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS). Forsee Power’s solution will allow more than 80 km of autonomy. The battery system will have ability to recover the breaking energy, which will contribute to significatively reduce the energy consumption from the grid.
“This contract with Skoda is an important step in Forsee Power’s rail strategy. Our R&D teams have developed a panel of technologies to address the challenges of rail applications electrification such as autonomy while ensuring a high level of power required by BEMU Skoda’s regional trains. We are looking forward to furthering our partnership to contribute to the next generation of battery trains (BEMU) that Skoda is developing, accelerating the decarbonation of rail transport in Europe” explains Sébastien Rembauville-Nicolle, VP Business Development at Forsee Power.
Forsee Power battery systems will be manufactured in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, France, where the Group employs 200 people.