DB Regio, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn which operates regional and commuter train services in Germany, has ordered 44 battery-electric Flirt Akku multiple units from Swiss manufacturer Stadler. The first of the 44 multiple units are to go into passenger service on eight routes in the Pfalz region December 2025, and the diesel trains currently in use are to be replaced by the end of 2026.
Stadler’s Flirt Akku is designed for networks in which electrified sections alternate with passages without overhead lines. On the electrified lines, the trains draw current from catenary wires, as do classic electric railcars, while charging their batteries.
This is Stadler’s second major German order for the Flirt Akku—the Schleswig-Holstein local transport association ordered 55 units in 2019. Stadler offers the Flirt model in electric, diesel, bi-modal, battery-electric or fuel-cell versions (“akku” is a German word for “battery”).
The Flirt Akku’s operational range in battery mode is at least 80 kilometers—Stadler has demonstrated 185 km in test journeys. In the Palatinate network, the longest section of track without overhead lines will cover around 48 km after completion of the planned partial electrification.
Each of the trains ordered by DB Regio is 55 meters long, and can carry a total of 325 passengers, including 172 in seats.
“We are already the most climate-friendly mobility company in Germany,” says Maik Dreser, Chairman of Regional Management for DB Regio Mitte. “By 2040, we at Deutsche Bahn want to be climate-neutral. Alternative drives and fuels are an essential part of achieving this goal.”