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Bus operators launch joint procurement for 63 fuel cell buses in Germany and South Tyrol; part of JIVE

Wuppertal-based WSW mobil GmbH last week tendered the procurement of 63 fuel cell buses for operation in public transport. WSW is coordinating the joint procurement for its partners Verkehrs-Verbund Mainz-Wiesbaden GmbH; traffiQ Frankfurt; Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (all Germany); and SASA SpA-AG in Bolzano (Itay) which are going to operate these buses in the next years. The coordinated procurement of buses based on a joint specification sheet targets achieving lower prices for the buses.

The joint procurement activity is part of the JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project, an EU-funded project deploying 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses across nine cities, the first deployment of this scale in Europe. (Earlier post.) JIVE is going to become the largest fuel cell bus project in Europe.

The German partners have also bid for a co-funding under the National Innovation Program on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP II) of the German Federal Government which targets at the market introduction of fuel cell applications in Germany.

The transport operators are part of a fuel cell bus procurement cluster which currently comprises 15 companies in Germany, South Tyrol and Trento. Their common target is to switch their complete bus fleets to emission-free vehicles in the future.

The cluster management is supported by FCH JU and is operated by Dr. Frank Koch (EE ENERGY ENGINEERS GmbH, Gelsenkirchen) und Heinrich Klingenberg (hySOLUTIONS GmbH, Hamburg).

Further clusters exist in the UK, Benelux, France, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

The necessary hydrogen is either a by-product from the local chemical industry or is made by electrolysis from renewable electricity.



There are a couple of advantages of fuel cell buses over BEVs, so long as the cost to buy and the cost of the hydrogen are reasonable.

The first is that they offer more flexibility, with the ability to tackle longer journeys as required, so long as they provide hydrogen in depots.

The second is that they actively suck up and clean city air as they need it clean to work, so not only do they clean up the remaining non exhaust emissions, or rather more than compensate for it, filtering out road dust, brake dust, tire dust and so on, but they do so in an ideal location, right on the busy city streets.

If we can introduce the technology widely the health benefits will be enormous.


This is a huge step in the right direction for clean running city buses.

Is the air cleaning effect large enough to offset pollution from some regular buses?



There was a debate right on this forum about how great the cleaning effect is.
To refresh your memory:

They certainly clean the air, the debate was about how much, to which we arrived at no very certain answer.

However, cleaning it is certainly better than polluting it with fine particles, and FCEVs seem to take out more than they by non exhaust pollution, and enough extra so as to have a further cleaning effect, although the extent we have not determined as I noted.

BEVs do not clean the air, they simply emit less than ICE, but all the non-exhaust elements are emitted.


Given the amount of air taken in through filters to feed the fuel cells, you could say they clean the air.


I guess the hard question is can the HEPA? type filtration remove as much fine particle as these vehicles emit via the non combustion sources?
But that is a both uncertain and a bit unfair.

When we see reports of renewable energy surplus on (at least one day) in some parts of Europe and the continued rollout of these generators we can predict increasing quanta of unallocated power generation that could be stored as renewable transport fuels. That in battery, biosynthetsized carbon or hydrogen to name a few.

With the promise improvements above the currently available rate of energy *conversion efficiency already comparable to the well to wheels current carbon based technology* it is clear that the prospects for H2 in various and versatile forms is meeting projectected targets.


With ongoing significant progress with FCs and electrolysers in the last few years, hydrogen could become an excellent competitive clean energy carrier for FCs equipped city and long range buses and trucks.

China, Japan, So-Korea, Europe (and many others) should invest more resources to master the technology and convert buses, trucks and locomotives to

Clean lower cost H2 stations will have to be multiplied.

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