Axion Power Chairman & CEO Thomas Granville commented, "Railways are the most fuel-efficient method of transporting freight, moving a ton of freight 457 miles on a single gallon of fuel. The ability to run locomotives on electricity is well-established, although the standard means of doing so to date has either been a third rail or an overhead connection both of which require extensive and expensive infrastructure apparatus. Most locomotives currently operate by burning fossil fuels. Utilizing Axion’s unique PbC batteries with their high level of charge acceptance and high cycle life will allow selected locomotives to operate free from diesel generator sets – and will help make Norfolk Southern trains the cleanest in North America.
"The key will be developing a battery management system that is robust, safe, dependable and easy to maintain," Granville said. "We are highly confident, based on our ongoing work, that this system can be successfully demonstrated in a fairly short time frame. We are, of course, pleased and delighted to be working with Norfolk Southern, an industry leader and a trail-blazer in hybrid locomotives."
About Norfolk Southern Corporation
Norfolk Southern is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.
Axion has developed and patented a next generation energy storage device that won the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Technology Award for North America in the field of lead-acid batteries. According to Frost & Sullivan, Axion’s new PbC® batteries have "the potential to revitalize the lead-acid battery industry by breathing new life into an established technology that is not well suited to the requirements of important new applications like hybrid electric vehicles and renewable power."
Axion Power International, Inc. is the industry leader in the field of lead-acid-carbon energy storage technologies. Axion believes this new battery technology is the only class of advanced battery that can be assembled on existing lead-acid battery production lines throughout the world without significant changes to production equipment and fabrication processes. It also believes it will be able to manufacture carbon electrode assemblies in volume at low cost using standard automated production methods that are commonly used in other industries.
If and when its electrode manufacturing methods are fully developed, Axion believes it will be able to sell carbon electrode assemblies as virtual plug-and-play replacements for lead-based negative electrodes used by all other lead-acid battery manufacturers. Axion’s future goal, after filling their plant’s lead-carbon battery production capacity, is to become the leading supplier of carbon electrode assemblies for the global lead-acid battery industry.