Solaris Bus & Coach has announced the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen, a new generation hydrogen fuel cell bus. The official premiere of the vehicle is slated for 2019.
Energy needed to power the driveline of the Solaris Urbin 12 hydrogen will be obtained fromthe fuel cell; range on a single refueling will be more than 350 km (217 miles). The vehicle will be also fitted with one of Solaris’ small High Power traction battery of 29.2 kWh which is to support the fuel cell when the demand for energy is biggest.
The battery will be charged with power from the fuel cell. In addition, it will be possible to recharge it by means of a plug-in charging outlet (as is the case in standard electric buses). An axle with dual integrated electric motors, with a nominal power of 60 kW each, will constitute the drive unit. The twelve-meter bus will be able to carry up to 80 passengers.
The new generation Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen represents the continuation and development of a concept unveiled in 2014, when two articulated electric buses (Solaris Urbino 18.75) powered with hydrogen fuel cells as range extenders, were delivered to Hamburg. Batteries constituted the basic drive source of the buses showcased four years ago.
In the new hybrid bus, electric energy propelling the vehicle will be derived from hydrogen, whereas the battery will only have a support function.
The twelve-metre Solaris Urbino hydrogen will be equipped with latest-generation 60 kW fuel cells. Hydrogen is stored in composite tanks on the roof; the mass of the tanks will be reduced by about 20% compared to previous models.
In order to optimally reduce energy use in the vehicle, it will feature a climate comfort system with a CO₂ heat pump; the system will allow to use waste heat from the fuel cell. This is an efficient proposition that will also improve the driving range of the bus.
The revolution in terms of green public transport has become a fact—Solaris has decided to respond to market demand with a whole new product. Hydrogen buses have the potential to be very popular on the market: they are cheap in use, lighter than electric buses, can cover a distance of 350 km on a single hydrogen refueling (that is also the average daily range of a city bus) and they are completely emission-free—the only substance emitted while the bus is driving is steam.—Dariusz Michalak, vice-CEO of Solaris Bus &Coach, in charge of the research and development division
Both fuel-cell-fitted Solaris Urbino 18.75 buses delivered to Hamburg in 2014 still cover bus route 109 on a regular basis. The Polish bus producer supplied the first trolleybus with fuel cells to Riga last year. This year, 10 such vehicles will drive across the capital of Latvia in total.