|A new MAN H2ICE Bus.|
The Berliner Zeitung reports that state-owned BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), the city’s mass-transit company, will buy up to 250 hydrogen buses by 2009. At that figure, roughly one out of every five buses in the city would be hydrogen-fueled.
Manufacturers will be asked to provide offers for both diesel- and hydrogen-fueled buses in response to BVG’s request for proposals in 2007.
We want to take the path to hydrogen technology consistently.—Thomas Necker, BVG board member
The rapidly rising cost of diesel fuel is reducing the cost gap with hydrogen. Four years ago, the BVG was paying approximately €0.68 per liter (US$3.20 per gallon). Today, the price has increased to €0.94 (US$4.44 per gallon) and is expected to increase to €1.20 per liter (US$5.68) by the end of the decade.
At that price, hydrogen, which is produced by Total from butane at its Leuna refinery (150 kilometers from Berlin), is competitive.
Berlin has two hydrogen filling stations, opened to support its participation in the European hydrogen project HyFLEET:CUTE. Berlin is running a fleet of 14 hydrogen buses as part of that project. (Earlier post.) The BVG also tested two MAN hydrogen buses (earlier post) during the FIFA Soccer World Cup, using them to transport fans from the Tegel International Airport to the Olympic Stadium.