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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

GE Unveils First Hybrid Road Locomotive

GE today announced the debut of its one-of-a-kind hybrid road locomotive at its Ecomagination event in Los Angeles. GE's Evolution Hybrid locomotive will be unveiled tomorrow, May 24, at LA's historic Union Station to demonstrate the progress that GE's Transportation business is making in developing a freight hybrid locomotive that is capable of recycling thermal energy as stored power in on-board batteries.

This demonstration hybrid unit will be one of many technologies featured at the Ecomagination event that are developed and used in the rail industry to reduce smog-causing emissions, including Nitrous Oxide emissions, and particulate matter. Ecomagination is GE's initiative to bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet their most pressing environmental challenges.

"This hybrid demonstration unit is another example of our commitment to invest in technology and bring new, innovative concepts to life," said John M. Dineen, President and CEO of GE - Transportation. "We will continue to support Ecomagination by engineering product offerings that help customers improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and sustain a long life of reliable service."

Bearing road number 2010, the 4,400 horsepower Evolution Hybrid diesel-electric prototype will feature a series of innovative batteries that will capture and store energy dissipated during dynamic braking. The energy stored in the batteries will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 10 percent compared to most of the freight locomotives in use today. (In addition to reduced emissions, a hybrid will operate more efficiently in higher altitudes and up steep inclines.)

Several GE customers including BNSF are helping to serve on GE's advisory board for the development of hybrid technology.

"BNSF is committed to helping develop new technologies that benefit our operations as well as the environment," said Matthew K. Rose, chairman, president and chief executive officer, BNSF Railway Company. "We are proud to be partners with GE on the development of the hybrid locomotive, alternative fuel research and the testing of other technologies that optimize the performance of our locomotive fleets."

This past week, the Evolution Hybrid demo unit traveled along Union Pacific's network on its trek to California for its unveiling. Union Pacific also serves on GE's advisory board.

"Union Pacific is developing and investing in new technologies that provide for cleaner air, including a locomotive fleet that's the greenest in the industry," said Jim Young, Chairman and CEO, Union Pacific. "We congratulate GE on working toward developing a hybrid locomotive and applaud innovation from suppliers that can support our leadership in caring for the environment while delivering the goods that America needs."

Before the GE hybrid locomotive is offered commercially, the engineering team will continue work and analysis on the innovative lead-free rechargeable batteries and corresponding control systems on-board the locomotive. Following lab testing, GE will produce pre-production units for customer field validation purposes.

"This locomotive will reduce emissions while providing operating benefits to our customers that transport consumer goods and other raw materials by recapturing the energy wasted during train braking," said Steve Gray, GE - Transportation's Engineering Leader. "As we work toward bringing the Evolution Hybrid locomotive to commercial production, our engineers will use this locomotive as a living lab working with our customers to test, study, and refine our hybrid locomotive technology."

The energy dissipated in braking a 207-ton locomotive during the course of one year is enough to power 160 households for that year.

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