Hitachi Rail Europe commences development of new fleet of Azuma trains
Hitachi Rail Europe has commenced the development of a fleet of new trains for the East Coast Mainline (ECM) in the UK, Railway Technology reports.
The ECM has started work on the British franchise of London North Eastern Railway’s Azuma fleet and is set to be created at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe facility in County Durham.
“We’re delighted that manufacturing has now commenced on Azuma in County Durham,” said LNER managing director David Horne.
“Our customers can expect a fleet of high-tech, modern trains that will deliver more seats and space, as well as faster journeys.”
“Azuma will play a key role in revolutionising travel on the east coast mainline, delivering first-class service, as well as extra services for Bradford, Lincoln, Harrogate and Edinburgh.”
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The trains have been created by utilising Japanese bullet train technology and are expected to be in use by the end of the year.
It is anticipated that the new implementation of the new fleet will decrease passengers’ journey time and the service will connect London with Yorkshire, with Scotland being introduced from next year.
“Our pioneering Azuma trains, inspired by Japanese bullet trains, will transform journeys on the East Coast mainline,” said, Hitachi Rail Europe managing director, Karen Boswell.
“By building them at Newton Aycliffe, we are supporting thousands of jobs with a strong British supplier base.”
The factory currently has 730 workers and has recently brought in 50 new apprentices.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.