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UK’s zero emission bus deployment plans gain momentum

Transport for London (TfL) has recently launched a tender for the bulk procurement of fuel cell buses. Working in partnership with other UK cities (Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee), TfL is inviting potential suppliers of fuel cell buses to join a framework for the supply of single and double decker vehicles to cities across the UK and potentially further afield. Further context and details of this opportunity are available from the contract notice published via the Official Journal of the EU.


Fuel cell buses can offer an attractive zero emission solution for public transport in cities. They do this without imposing any significant new operational constraints on bus operators, as they can meet all daily bus duty cycles and can refuel in a short refuelling window. As such, once their costs reduce through economies of scale, they will be a valuable tool in the fight against local pollution and the removal of carbon dioxide emissions from road transport.

Furthermore, fuel cell buses have the potential to kick start the use of hydrogen for mobility, with other applications in passenger cars, vans, trucks and even trains expected to follow. The bulk procurement of buses will significantly increase yearly order volumes in Europe and will play a key role in reducing costs and bringing this technology closer to a commercial reality. 


The procurement activity is part of the JIVE project, an EU funded project deploying 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses across nine cities, the first deployment of this scale in Europe. The project is coordinated by Element Energy. Ben Madden, Director of Element Energy said: "The launch of this joint procurement exercise is an important milestone for the JIVE project and the fuel cell bus sector as a whole. Taking a coordinated approach to purchasing large numbers of these buses should deliver increased standardisation and significant cost reductions, allowing the cities to realise their ambitious zero emission bus adoption plans. We are delighted to have helped start this programme and look forward to continuing to support the partners in delivering the project."



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