The EcoTrain project involves converting Siemens class 642 DMUs to bi-mode (diesel and electric) configuration with lithium-ion batteries. Partners in the project include the technical universities of Dresden and Chemnitz, the Dresden-based Fraunhofer Institute, and DB RegioNetz Verkehrs Erzgebirgsbahn.

A prototype train is currently in operation and the aim is to obtain Federal Railway Authority (EBA) authorisation for the concept this year. This would enable the series conversion of 12 class 642 sets by 2021.