Environment protection has long been an integral part of the development process at Siemens. Siemens' in-house standards for the environment-compatible product and system design have been in existence since the beginning of the 1990s. The requirements specified in these standards are a mandatory part of our contracts with subcontractors. As a result, environmentally friendly materials are used to the widest possible extent in the production of Vectron, and the use of components containing pollutants, like batteries, is minimized. This reduces environmental pollution over the entire life of the vehicle.
With Vectron, environmental sustainability begins with production. It is manufactured at energy-saving production plants, and environment and resource conservation continues with the use of environment-compatible materials and water-based paints throughout. No FRP is used in Vectron’s construction.
Recycling quota of 98 percent
Only materials that do not cause long-term pollution of the environment are used in the vehicle development process. The result is that Vectron is 98 percent recyclable, with 94 percent of materials reusable and four percent usable for heat generation. With a locomotive weight of 85 tons, this means that only 1.7 tons of materials cannot be reused.
Vectron DE: Startup system with high-performance capacitors
Vectron diesel locomotives have a startup system with high-performance capacitors. This system has been an innovation from Siemens. On our type ER20 locomotives, we have already replaced maintenance-intensive and heavy starter batteries with maintenance-free, light, high-performance capacitors (so-called supercaps). This has allowed us to reduce the maintenance costs compared with a battery solution by over 80 percent. The system has been adopted by numerous other manufacturers, providing clear evidence of the superiority and innovativeness of the functions and equipment of our locomotives.
Vectron DE: Minimum emissions
The proportion of old diesel locomotives in Europe remains persistently high. Through the use of Vectron DE – which already complies with the extremely strict environmental requirements of European standards of level lllB – it would be possible to significantly reduce the emission of pollutants even more. Equipped with an EU97/IIIB-compliant diesel engine, Vectron DE is a trendsetter when it comes to emission reduction. A large proportion of today's mainline locomotives are still equipped with diesel engines that conform to the uld UIC1 standard. Compared with these vehicles, Vectron DE emits just one percent of the particle volume and only one third of the NOx emissions. Today, the fleet mix in Germany already generates only one tenth of the NOx emission compared with road transport. With Vectron DE as the backbone of a European diesel locomotive fleet, this gap could become even wider.
Low track loads
The Vectron’s innovative motor suspension minimizes guide forces in operation and thereby reduces stressing of the track. The pinion hollow shaft drive has considerably smaller unsprung masses than the usual nose-suspended drive, which results in an additional reduction of the load exerted on tracks.
Minimum noise emissions
Apart from the discharge of gases, noise emissions also rank among the environmentally harmful factors that have been proven to be detrimental to humans and animals. Locomotives from Siemens are already among the quietest vehicles in today’s fleets. Vectron continues this philosophy by significantly undercutting the relevant European limit values of the TSI Noise. Through the predominant use of electric brakes and disc brakes, noise emission during braking is reduced to a minimum.
Eco-friendly coolants and consumables
Vectron is designed to use coolants and consumable materials that can be disposed of in an ecologically compatible manner at the end of their service life. Bio-degradable ester is used as the coolant in transformers. Converters with environment-friendly water cooling are standard, as is bio-degradable flange lubricant.