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Van Hool, UTC Power Introduce Belgium’s First Fuel Cell Bus

Van Hool and UTC Power have introduced Belgium’s first 13.2-meter (43-foot) fuel-cell hybrid-electric transit bus with a passenger capacity of 104. (Earlier post.) The HyFleet project has fielded hydrogen buses for a number of years across Europe, but those buses are slightly smaller—12-meter buses with passenger capacity between 70 and 83, depending upon the model.

The bus will be delivered to De Lijn, the largest bus fleet operator in Belgium, and will begin service in early June. It will operate in Belgium for six months before being leased to other transit agencies in Europe.

The hybrid is similar to fuel-cell hybrid buses from Van Hool and UTC rolled out in Hartford, Connecticut, Oakland and Palm Springs, California. (Earlier post.) With a 120 kW UTC fuel cell stack, the 40 kg of hydrogen stored onboard gives the bus a range of 350 km (217 miles). Sodium Nickel Chloride high-temperature (Zebra) batteries can store as much as 53 kWh of electrical energy and release up to 95 kW of power, enabling efficiency improvements through regenerative braking, while augmenting the 120 kW of power available from the fuel cell.

Van Hool Managing Director Leopold Van Hool said that by building a demonstration bus for the European market, Van Hool and UTC Power hope to advance the use of fuel cell hybrid-electric technology. The design of this new three-axle, low-floor bus is unique, allowing the increased capacity of up to 104 passengers within Europe’s stringent weight requirements. The new bus design also features a Van Hool roof-top cooling system and improved locations for drive components and fuel storage.

UTC Power has provided fuel cell power plants for fleet transportation since 1998 and its fuel cells have powered buses in the United States, Spain and Italy. UTC Power also is participating in three new zero-emission transit bus projects in California and Washington, D.C., as part of a Federal Transit Administration $49 million cost-shared program. (Earlier post.)

(A hat-tip to Marc!)



Thats rather good 5.5 miles on a kilo... And with access to ultra cheap even free power....


Where is the ultra cheap even free power coming from? I didn't know the Belgians had discovered free energy. Let's pull out of Iraq and invade them ;)


A bit off topic, but 104 passengers on a 43 foot bus seems to be packing them in. I assume this is all seats and all standing room only. If the bus can still start, stop and handle with all those people great. I just would not want to be one of them.

Cheryl Ho

Since DME has an advantage of decomposition at lower temperature than methane and LPG, R&D for hydrogen source for fuel cell has been carried out.

If you would like to know more on the latest DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:

steve green

Dear mr. Van Hool

Kindly indicate the cost of say a 12 metre low floor bus using fuel cell technology.



Getu Seifu

Ethiopian airline is considering purchase of airport ramp buses through tender. We would like to send Request for Proposal (RFP) to your company, please therefore advise mailing address and name of person to send RFP to, including email address. Thank you.

Getu Seifu

Ethiopian airline is considering purchase of airport ramp buses through tender. We would like to send Request for Proposal (RFP) to your company (VAN HOOL (BELGIUM/UK), please therefore advise mailing address and name of person to send RFP to, including email address. Thank you.

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