The freight subsidiary DB Cargo has already approved the entire fleet of 800 vehicles for biofuel. In the next five years, the remaining 2,000 diesel vehicles in DB's existing fleet will follow suit. With the first diesel phase-out measures, DB will save at least 50,000 tonnes of CO₂ by 2025.
The phasing out of diesel is an important lever for DB to achieve climate neutrality in 2040 opening to all technologies. For existing diesel vehicles, DB relies primarily on alternative fuels such as the biofuel HVO, produced from biological residues and waste materials. Biofuel causes 90 percent fewer CO₂ emissions than diesel and no additional cultivation areas are used for its production, which competes with food and animal feed production. For new vehicles, DB relies on new forms of propulsion - such as hydrogen and battery technology. These measures complement the classic electrification via overhead lines and electric traction.
Richard Lutz, Chairman of the DB Management Board: "The decision to phase out diesel is a done deal at DB. We are doing everything we can to make the railway even greener. We are investing a total of around 1.5 billion euros in the expansion of new drive systems and fuels by 2027 and are thus coming closer to climate-neutral rail, step by step."
In the H2goesRail project, the Group is developing a mobile hydrogen filling station together with Siemens as well as the hydrogen train Mireo Plus H. In the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), the Group has been operating the world's largest hydrogen fleet since December 2022 and is responsible for the maintenance and servicing of the trains at its plant in Frankfurt-Griesheim.
Last year, Alstom's first battery train was successfully tested in passenger service, and the experience was gained in operation and maintenance. When using battery trains, instead of continuous electrification of every track kilometer with the new technology, only the electrification of short sections of track or individual stations is necessary. In Schleswig-Holstein, this technology of the future will be used for the first time from the end of 2023 and will serve as a role model nationwide.