Intramotev aims to revolutionize the rail industry with battery-electric technology

Intramotev aims to revolutionize the rail industry with battery-electric technology

The company's goal is to use the technology to create captive routes between mines and processing facilities, intra-plant routes, and ports. The technology offers reduced operational costs, increased safety, and a more sustainable future for the rail industry.

Michigan's Office of Future Mobility and Electrification has awarded Intramotev, a technology company focused on developing autonomous, zero-emission rail solutions, a $200,000 grant to accelerate the deployment of its TugVolt self-propelled railcars. The grant will support the deployment of three TugVolt railcars at a mining site in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in late 2023.

Intramotev's TugVolt is a proprietary kit that can retrofit existing railcars to become battery-electric, move independently like a truck, and decouple to service first- and last-mile legs. This is a significant development in the rail industry as it represents the first deployment anywhere in the world of self-propelled, battery-electric railcars for commercial use in a freight rail operation.

The company's ultimate goal is to develop autonomous, zero-emission rail solutions for captive routes between mines and processing facilities, as well as intra-plant and ports. This would significantly reduce the need for freight trucks to navigate long, choked highways across the nation, which currently produce an estimated 433 million tons of carbon emissions annually, while close to a million freight railcars sit idle every day in switching yards.

The deployment of Intramotev's TugVolt railcars in Michigan represents an important step towards a more sustainable and efficient rail industry. If successful, this technology could significantly reduce emissions and congestion on the nation's highways while creating a more sustainable and efficient mobility future.

“Utilizing the most advanced battery-electric technology and other proprietary tools, we look to apply the packetization of the internet model to freight logistics initially on short captive routes and remove the actual distance then rapidly expanding to the full network of 140,000 miles of existing U.S. track without additional infrastructure. We envision a future where freight can move itself without waiting for a locomotive, making the system more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Intramotev CEO Timothy Luchini.

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