| Partner Login | Share this Share this |
facebook twitter youtube flickr issuu

Home News

Cleaner urban transport with hydrogen buses

Trials in cities around the world have demonstrated that fuel-cell passenger buses can cut emissions and noise pollution while providing good quality public transport.


Fuel-cell buses are an attractive solution for public transport – they can travel long, cost-effective shifts before being refuelled quickly at bus depots, yet are quiet and produce no carbon or particulate emissions, minimising their environmental and health impacts.


"The buses are powered by electro-chemical cells that combine hydrogen stored in high pressure tanks with oxygen from the air to generate electricity, heat and water. Performance compares well to the more established diesel, trolley (tram) and battery bus technologies", says Carlos Navas, Project Manager for transport projects at the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). The FCH JU is a public-private partnership that is funding research and demonstration projects seeking to enable the commercialisation of fuel cell technologies.


“You can’t tell the difference. They are clean, smooth and easy to drive,” he explains. A fuel cell bus can drive for 300-450 kilometres before it needs to be refuelled, says an FCH JU report. This gives the technology an edge over most established battery buses, which have more limited ranges. And as they carry enough fuel on board for a full shift, the buses need very little route infrastructure, unlike trolley buses and some battery buses.


The FCH JU now supports 67 of the buses in Europe. It has published a call for proposals for a trial of at least 100 buses. Should this demonstration be successful, it will increase confidence in investing in fuel cell bus fleets, says Navas. He adds that existing interest from bus operators could expand Europe’s fleet to over 500 buses, with a potential European market worth €1.5 billion.


“These efforts could be the first step in developing a fully competitive market using hydrogen-based zero-emissions urban transport,” he says. “The implications are enormous in terms of the environment, job creation and economic development.”


Read more


Print this pageAlphabetical indexSitemapSearch