EcoTram was launched in 2009 and is being led by the Technical University of Vienna (TUW) with the support of Siemens, Vossloh Kiepe, Rail Tec Arsenal, Wiener Linien, and Schig, and was funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) through its New Energies 2020 programme.

The vehicle was fitted with three new air-conditioning units with heat pumps, a variable-frequency compressor, and CO2 sensors. Intelligent control units determine when and where heating will be required according to the ambient temperature.

The vehicle was used on Line 62 between Kärntener Ring and Opera House with testing focussing on load-dependent effects on the performance of heating and cooling systems in real operating and environmental conditions. Siemens says the total energy saving over the duration of the trial was 4,200kWh, or more than 13% of total power consumption. This is roughly equivalent to the total annual energy consumption of an average household in Austria.