Japan's First Hydrogen Hybrid Train, Hybari, Revealed to the Media

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Japan's First Hydrogen Hybrid Train, Hybari, Revealed to the Media

Hybari, equipped with a fuel cell and storage batteries, operates by converting hydrogen to electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen. The train was a joint project with Toyota Motor Corp. and Hitachi, known for their work in fuel cell vehicles and storage batteries respectively.

JR East has been testing Hybari since March 2022, and on February 28, a demonstration was conducted between Tsurumi and Ogimachi stations. The two-car train features a hydrogen tank on the roof instead of pantographs for electricity intake, with an onboard monitor displaying real-time power sources during acceleration and deceleration.

Currently, JR East faces the challenge of expanding the train's range beyond the current 140 kilometers, aiming to eventually replace diesel trains operating on non-electrified lines. Meanwhile, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) is exploring hydrogen engine-powered railcars as part of their decarbonization efforts in the industry.