Fuel cells are emerging as an attractive power supply source for vehicles. An EU-funded project seeks to decrease the cost of fuel-cell hydrogen-powered (FCH) buses and at the same time increase their reliability and availability throughout Europe.
The EU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and transportation is an important pillar of many such programmes. As technology matures, FCH buses offer not only environmental benefits but also economic ones. Successful FCH demonstrations have led several cities to begin substituting buses in their conventional public transport fleets with FCH buses. Scientists working on the EU-funded project 'Cities speeding up the integration of hydrogen buses in public fleets' (HIGH V.LO-CITY) are facilitating this transition.
Focus is placed on demonstrating the economic and technical viability of FCH buses and of intelligent infrastructure solutions. The project involves key stakeholders and new industrial players in three previously established demonstration regions in Europe to further deploy FCH technology. Innovative solutions to operating public transport fleets that require great flexibility in refuelling and maintenance infrastructure are also included.
HIGH V.LO-CITY is extending the number of public buses in the fleets of the three demonstration sites and reducing the cost of hydrogen supply. In Antwerp (Belgium), five FCH buses will be demonstrated. A completely new hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is being built to use the hydrogen by-product of a local chlorine industry. San Remo (Italy) will showcase five FCH buses as well, and a hydrogen production plant is being built that will also have refuelling infrastructure. The four FCH buses in Aberdeen will receive sustainable hydrogen produced on a wind farm off the coast of Scotland.
Based on an in-depth study of future drive cycles and deduction of power requirements, the latest components have been integrated in 14 test vehicles. Through standardised on-road tests, FCH buses were found to consume almost 50 % less energy than hybrid buses.
Project activities are expected to increase public awareness on hydrogen-powered buses to ultimately accelerate their integration in public transport fleets throughout Europe. Documentation on approval and certification processes of vehicles and infrastructure will also be produced.
Provided by Cordis