DB Regio orders 14 more battery-operated trains from Stadler

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Stadler has announced that German commuter train services provider DB Regio has ordered another 14 battery-powered FLIRT Akku trains as it looks to replace diesel trains in service and decarbonize its network.

The news follows an announcement made in November 2021 that DB Regio had ordered 44 battery-powered FLIRT Akkus from Stadler for use on the south-west German Palatinate network.

The latest contract with DB Regio, Stadler’s third supply contract for battery operated vehicles, will see the FLIRT Akkus used in the north-east of Germany in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region. They will go into passenger service from December 2026. Stadler will be delivering at least 113 vehicles with alternative drive technologies over the next five years.  

Starting at the end of 2026, Deutsche Bahn will use the battery-operated vehicles from Stadler on a route that was previously serviced by diesel-operated vehicles in the so-called H-network in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The two-part FLIRT Akku vehicles will be used for a typical transport period of 13 years, according to Stadler, and are tailored to the needs of the network that runs along part of the Baltic Sea coast.

Carsten Moll, chairman of DB Regio Northeast, said, “With the battery-electric multiple units, which will replace diesel vehicles, we are taking an important step toward climate neutrality within the state. As DB Regio, we are proud to put the first environmentally friendly network of this type into operation in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.”

Jure Mikolčić, CEO of Stadler in Germany, added, “With this new order for battery-operated vehicles from the Deutsche Bahn, we have further consolidated our market leadership in the field of alternative drives. Since 2019, Stadler has sold 113 vehicles with alternative drive technologies in Germany. It makes us very proud that our FLIRT Akku not only makes an ecological and innovative contribution to climate-friendly traffic policies, but also significantly boosts efficiency. If we consider the average life of a rail vehicle of around 30 years, battery-operated vehicles are more cost-effective than diesel-operated trains.”

The FLIRT Akku is the battery-operated version of the FLIRT type series by Stadler. The vehicle is highly versatile due to that fact that it is designed for non-electrified and partially electrified tracks. The operational reach of the vehicle is about 100km, which means that 80% of the non-electrified routes in Germany can be used by regional trains in battery mode.

With 224 driven kilometers in pure battery mode, the FLIRT Akku holds the world record for the longest journey by a regional train in pure battery mode without additional charging.

The FLIRT AKKU is a single story, easily customized regional train. Its vehicle concept is largely based on the already approved and tested electrical trains FLIRT for exclusive operation under a catenary.

Most of the traction equipment and the most important mechanical components have been retained. All FLIRT models have a lightweight aluminum frame. Maintenance-friendly designs and components that have proven themselves thousands of times over help to keep operating, energy and servicing costs to a minimum. Two to four-part train compositions can be realized in the battery-operated variant. Like the FLIRT, the FLIRT Akku can also be customized highly flexibly with respect to the number of seats, passenger flow or interior design.

The FLIRT by Stadler is a single-story train for local and long-haul transport. To date, Stadler has sold more than 2,000 of this model in 20 countries. In addition to purely electrical, diesel or mixed drives, Stadler also supplies the FLIRT with alternative drives such as batteries and hydrogen. For instance, Stadler developed the first FLIRT with a hydrogen drive for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA).