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UK trains could soon be powered by EV batteries

The TransEnergy project, led by the University of Sheffield working with National Rail, is designed to counteract the extra load on the electrical grid from more frequent commuter trains and will begin testing in the near future.

This will enable vehicles parked at railway stations to supply energy to the railway network during peak periods. Commuters could be offered free parking in exchange for the electricity they supply. It will also test on-site supercapacitors which could store energy generated as trains decelerate.

Dr Martin Foster, from the university’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said: “Similar energy storage systems are already being used on the electricity grid during peak times and by translating these to our railways, we could deliver real benefits to both rail companies and consumers, bringing down the costs of travel and improving services.”

James Ambrose, principal engineer for Network Rail, added: “Network Rail is committed to electrifying more lines in the UK. Our project will be working with rail providers to recommend new approaches that will mean increased efficiency for the industry.”

Alex Grant

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