Meet the smartphone controlled self-propelled railcar, TugVolt

With a generous grant from Michigan, Intramotev is ready to deploy these innovative railcars, providing a zero-emissions solution that reduces costs, and promotes environmental responsibility.
Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji Bello
The TugVolt self-propelled electric railcar

To decarbonize the freight industry and breathe new life into the sector, a dynamic young tech company called Intramotev has unveiled an innovative solution. With a recent grant of $200,000 from the state of Michigan, Intramotev is set to roll out three self-propelled, battery-electric railcars later this year. This marks a groundbreaking milestone in freight mobility.

Hailing from St. Louis, Intramotev is a high-tech startup established in 2020. They aim to develop autonomous, zero-emission rail solutions. These solutions reduce costs, enhance safety, increase utilization, and promote environmental responsibility. With its cutting-edge software and battery-electric propulsion technology–the company has made impressive strides quickly.

Among their game-changing inventions is the TugVolt battery-electric railcar. It is a versatile marvel that can detach from a train consist. It can operate independently for first and last-mile transportation. This innovation empowers the railcar to undertake specific legs of the journey autonomously. Ultimately, it revolutionizes the way freight is transported.

Intramotev has also developed the ReVolt railcar. This one is an ingenious solution designed to remain within the train consist and utilize regenerative braking to capture energy. This technology makes a significant contribution to curbing emissions and promoting sustainability.

Upscaling the process

With the new grant from Michigan's Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Intramotev is gearing up to launch its TugVolt electric railcars by the end of 2023. The grant, totaling $200,000, will be instrumental in further refining the TugVolt kit, allowing existing railcars to be retrofitted into battery-electric versions capable of autonomous operation.

Intramotev's ambitious vision extends beyond technological advancements. They recognize that highway freight trucks are responsible for a staggering 433 million tons of carbon emissions annually. So, their solution lies in harnessing electric performance to enhance freight shipment reliability and alleviate roadway congestion and pollution.

There is a challenge set by the Federal Railroad Administration to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Intramotev aims to contribute to the revitalization of the freight industry. Their collaboration with Michigan's Office of Future Mobility and Electrification is a pivotal step towards this goal as they pioneer a new era of industrial transformation.

The future envisioned by Intramotev involves a self-moving freight system that eliminates the reliance on locomotives, streamlining operations while significantly reducing carbon emissions. Intramotev is at the forefront of this transformative journey as the freight industry embraces this paradigm shift, setting the stage for a greener, more sustainable future.

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