Germany’s Deutsche Bahn is claiming Europe’s first carbon neutral freight rail service, saying Tuesday it will use only renewable energy in transporting automobiles in a new contract with Audi.
The company’s logistics unit, DB Schenker, signed the German auto manufacturer as its first customer and said it is negotiating contract with other corporate shippers.
DB Schenker will transport some 150,000 Audi cars a year on 625 trains powered by renewable energy on a 350-mile journey from Audi’s plant at Ingolstadt to the northern port of Emden.
Deutsche Bahn news from JOC: Deutsche Bahn Earnings Up from Freight Traffic
Audi will use what Schenker calls its Eco Plus service for around a quarter of its auto production, cutting its annual CO2 emissions by 5,250 metric tons.
Schenker, which charges a premium for Eco Plus, said it can roll out a carbon neutral service across its entire German network.
Ten percent of Eco Plus revenue will be used to help finance the construction of new renewable energy power plants, the company said.
The service is the latest in a series of green initiatives from Deutsche Bahn, including passenger rail carbon offsets used by around 60 companies for business travel and carbon offsets for the entire Hamburg commuter rail network.
Deutsche Bahn, Europe’s biggest railway, said it wants to reduce its CO2 emissions worldwide by 20 percent between 2006 and 2020.