Submission to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry on batteries

31 March 2021

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has called for submissions as part of its inquiry into batteries and fuel cells.

Executive Summary

The Submission sets out that:

  • Hydrogen and battery technology has a role to play, alongside electrification, in decarbonising the rail network. 
  • For heavy rail, electrification is the most efficient power source in a technological sense, as trains powered by an external power source do not need to carry their own fuel or energy storage. 
  • Energy storage is a key constraint for other technologies and the limited storage space and associated weight means that, even with expected technical improvements in battery and fuel cell technologies, they are not able to store enough energy to operate a freight train or higher speed (above c100 mph) passenger train over a normal operational range. 
  • Energy storage is a key constraint for other technologies and the limited storage space and associated weight means that, even with expected technical improvements in battery and fuel cell technologies, they are not able to store enough energy to operate a freight train or higher speed (above c100 mph) passenger train over a normal operational range. 

The Submission

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