Zero-emissions freight mobility solutions developer Intramotev is helping clean up an industry its technology could one day replace altogether. Pennsylvanian coal mining company Iron Senergy has purchased three of Intramotev’s ReVolt battery electric railcars to reduce emissions on its railways.
Intramotev is a St. Louis-based company founded in 2020 that develops autonomous, zero-emission rail solutions that decrease costs and promote environmental responsibility across a relatively archaic segment in freight.
In a few short years, the company has been able to develop unique mobility solutions that utilize software and battery-electric propulsion technology, including the TugVolt battery electric railcar, which can decouple from the consist (the group of railcars as a whole) and operate independently for first and last mile legs.
The company has also developed a ReVolt railcar that can be positioned to stay within the train’s consist and capture energy using regenerative braking to reduce diesel consumption from the line’s locomotive.
Fresh off news of a $200,000 grant from Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME), Intramotev continues to develop its TugVolt kit and will now put three ReVolt railcars into operation to support… coal mining? While the overall process is and will remain very carbon heavy, cleantech is now helping reduce emissions wherever possible.
Self-propelled electric railcars can reduce diesel emissions
According to news from Intramotev this morning, young coal mining company Iron Senergy has signed an agreement to receive and operate three ReVolt battery-electric railcars across its 17-mile private line used to transport coal in Western Pennsylvania.
The consist will still be hauled by a traditional diesel locomotive (at least for now), but the companies says the regenerative braking and self-propulsion will reduce some of the burden on the locomotive, thus leading to less diesel emissions and an overall lower operational cost.
When the three railcars are delivered, Intramotev states it will be the world’s first deployment of self-propelled battery-electric railcars in a traditional freight train – setting a new example of cleantech mobility working with “less popular” freight industries to literally clean up their act, even if its not going fully-electric just yet. Intramotev CEO Timothy Luchini elaborated:
Captive routes between mines and processing facilities have the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and save costs through our proprietary battery-electric technology. Using our technology will help Iron Senergy become a cleaner, healthier operation in western Pennsylvania. We hope their success will inspire other rail managers’ decarbonization efforts across mining and steel mill transportation.
If companies like Iron Senergy choose to go even more electric with railcars, Intramotev already has the technology in development, which exists as a larger, blossoming segment of all-electric locomotives.
The company’s CEO said it is already looking forward to exploring additional opportunities with Intramotev to further reduce emissions and increase efficiencies. The three ReVolt cars are expected to be deliver to Pennsylvania sometime in Q4 of this year.
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