The European Association of Rail Rolling Stock Lessor (EARRL), said that full electrification of the EU railways by 2050 cannot be achieved. They presented a roadmap on what other options should be prioritised by the EU and the Commission to further decarbonise rail between 2025 and 2050. However, the plan raises a few questions, especially for the rail freight sector.
When it comes to freight, the EARRL claims that dual-mode battery/electric locomotives are the best and more realistic solution for the future than full electrification. As a short-term and transitioning solution, the association proposed Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a second-generation biofuel using food industry waste. Hydrogen (H2) can also be considered an option for heavy freight and long distances, despite the association having doubts about current technologies.
These were the main outcomes of a webinar on alternatives to fossil diesel held on 4 May by EARRL’s Secretary General Carole Coune, and three CEOs: Fabien Rochefort, CEO of Akiem and Chair of the association, Lukasz Boron, CEO of Cargounit, and Pierre-Yves Cohen, CEO of eolos.