DaimlerChrysler officially handed over three hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Citaro buses (earlier post) to the City of Beijing on Wednesday at the opening of the 4th International Clean Vehicle Technology Conference and Exhibition.
As part of a fuel cell project which has been specifically conceived for the Chinese market, the fuel-cell Citaro buses will enter regular service in Beijing on a busy 19-km long route which passes the Summer Palace as well as the site for the next Olympic Games.
The initial aim of this fuel-cell project in China, which will run until October 2007, is to examine the day-to-day practicality of fuel-cell technology on the roads of China as well as hydrogen handling in the transport sector.
Twelve metres long, the fuel-cell Citaro has a range of approximately 200 kilometers, a top speed of 80 km/h and a capacity for up to 70 passengers, depending on individual customer specifications. The 205-kW fuel-cell unit (from Ballard) and the pressure cylinders containing hydrogen compressed to 350 bar (5,000 psi), are located on the roof of the Citaro bus. The electric motor and the automatic transmission are located in the rear of the bus.
These buses are part of a fleet of 36 that DaimlerChrysler now has in operation in Europe, Australia and Asia in order to gain real world experience in day-to-day operation. In October 2005, the Citaro fuel-cell bus fleet passed the one million kilometer mark and 70,000 operating hours, by far surpasses all previous trials of fuel-cell buses.
Having hydrogen-powered fuel-cell buses in operation on the streets of Beijing is a small but significant symbolic step in reducing pollution in this great city. As part of DaimlerChrysler's long-term commitment to China and partnership with the City of Beijing, we are bringing the very latest fuel cell technology to China.—Dr. Till Becker, Chairman and CEO of DaimlerChrysler Northeast Asia
The fuel-cell buses were provided to the City of Beijing under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the United Nations Development Program/Global Environmental Fund, Demonstration for Fuel-cell Bus Commercialization in China.
DaimlerChrysler is working on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles together with Ford Motor Company and Ballard Power Systems in a strategic alliance to maximize resources. DaimlerChrysler and Ford are focusing on ways to best integrate fuel-cell drives into vehicles, while Ballard will continue to develop and manufacture fuel-cells and electric drives for fuel-cell vehicles.