Leclanché SA, a world leading provider of energy storage solutions, has been chosen by Socofer to equip its maintenance locomotives for the Channel Tunnel. The Leclanché INT-53 battery pack, currently used by rail manufacturers in Europe and North America for railway traction applications in both fully electrified and hybrid configurations, was selected by Socofer due to its quality, safety features, and compliance with international standards.
The INT-53 battery pack meets all safety requirements for use in demanding environments such as the Channel Tunnel, including the standards of no flames, no explosions, and no battery components projected out of the pack. Additionally, the battery pack fully complies with all norms related to thermal propagation.
Leclanché’s expertise in containing any thermal runaway event within the battery was also a significant factor in Socofer’s decision to choose the INT-53. Socofer is supplying Eurotunnel with 19 hybrid locomotives, which will be used to pull maintenance wagons on the railroad line linking the UK and France under the English Channel.
Bertrand Hallé, Socofer CEO: “Socofer is pleased to announce a collaboration to expand our electric vehicle production activity, an important step for the future of rail transport. The professionalism of Leclanché’s teams, their commitment to safety, the European origin of manufacturing, and their respect for rail constraints and standards, all had a positive influence on our decision.
“After a lengthy evaluation process, we came to the conclusion that Leclanché was the partner we were looking for to meet the growing market for electric rail vehicles. The rail environment is a severe and demanding one, and Leclanché has fully integrated this into its choice of cells, as well as the design and manufacture of battery packs, which are assembled and tested in its European factories. This location was also one of our priorities as part of our low-carbon policy.”
Daniel Hugues, Eurotunnel’s Director of Infrastructure, said: “With this partnership we are perpetuating our pioneering spirit by using innovative technologies combining safety and operational excellence to reinforce our actions in favor of decarbonisation. With this new technology, our maintenance convoys will reduce their CO2 emissions by almost 180 tonnes a year.”
Pierre Blanc, Chief Technical Officer and co-CEO of Leclanché, said: “Leclanché is proud to have been selected by Socofer for this important project, which demonstrates the high quality and safety of our energy storage solutions. We look forward to continuing to provide innovative and reliable solutions to meet the evolving needs of the rail industry.”