Cities speeding up the integration of hydrogen buses in public fleets

Introduction:

The High V.LO-City project started in 2012 and will run through the end of 2018. The project aims at facilitating the deployment of fuel cell buses and hydrogen refuelling stations in three sites across Europe: Antwerp (Belgium), Aberdeen (United Kingdom) and San Remo (Italy). The 14 buses deployed will be used as a like-to-like replacement of conventional diesel buses and trolley buses. They will be operated in three different public transport fleets in three different climate zones and under various environmental and bus route conditions.

Project consortium

The project involves 11 partners and is coordinated by the bus manufacturer Van Hool.

  • Transport operators: Riviera Transport, De Lijn
  • Local authority: Aberdeen City Council, Rigione Liguria
  • Bus and fuel supply industries: Van Hool, PitPoint, Dantherm Power
  • Research and consultants: DITEN (University of Genova), Fit Consulting
  • Dissemination partner: HyER, Waterstofnet

Project targets:

  • Deliver 14 fuel cell buses in 3 locations and 2 hydrogen refuelling stations (Antwerp and San Remo).
  • Increase the energy efficiency of the buses and reduce the cost of ownership
  • Reduce the cost of hydrogen supply
  • Demonstrate an operational availability for the buses equivalent to diesel (over 90%)
  • Hydrogen consumption down to 7-9kg/100km
  • Increase the lifetime of key components such as fuel cells and batteries
  • Contribute to the commercialisation of fuel cell buses in Europe

Deployment sites:

Aberdeen

image1Four buses are operated in Aberdeen by First group. In addition, 6 fuel cell buses are operated by Stagecoach in Aberdeen as part of the HyTransit project. The HyTransit and the High V.LO-City projects form the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project, part of the H2 Aberdeen initiative.

The 10 buses constitute the largest hydrogen bus fleet in Europe to date. The buses are fuelled with hydrogen produced from green electricity. Aberdeen is currently looking at ways to further expand its fuel cell bus fleet.

Antwerp

Five fuel cell buses have started their operation in December 2014. The buses are operated by the bus operator De Lijn on several lines in the North of Antwerp. The buses use hydrogen produced as by-product from the chemical industry. The refuelling station shows a 98% availability rate.

San Remo

Fuel cell buses will be operated by Riviera Transporti from in San Remo from the end of 2016 onwards. The buses will operate on the touristic coast lines and will replace trolley buses. They are expected to demonstrate with an increased flexibility and lower operational costs that the fuel cell bus technology is a valuable alternative for zero emission public transport. The refuelling station will refuel the buses with hydrogen produced locally from electricity produced from renewable sources.

Funding

The project is funded by the FCH-JU under grand agreement 278192.

image3 image2

Emerging results

5 buses are operated in Antwerp since December 2014 and 4 buses are operated in Aberdeen since March 2015. During the first year of operation, the following results have been achieved:

  • Station availability objective (98%) is reached in Aberdeen and Antwerp
  • Overall availability of buses is more than 90% in Aberdeen since the end of 2015. This target has also been reached by the buses in operation in Antwerp
  • Target of 7-9kg/100km hydrogen consumption has been reached for both the Antwerp and Antwerp buses
  • Hydrogen is produced from renewable sources in Antwerp and Aberdeen
  • The buses are proving that they can replace a conventional diesel bus with the same level of efficiency and flexibility.

You can find more information about the project here.
For more information about the development of the project, check our news section.