Bus operators launch fuel cell bus procurement in Germany and South Tyrol

- Wuppertal, DE
White and red bus

This week, Wuppertal based WSW mobil GmbH has 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 tender can be found on Tenders Electronic Daily.

By the reduction of emissions like nitrogen oxides, fuel cell buses can contribute significantly to the improvement of air quality in cities. Thanks to ranges of up to 400 km (in summer and in winter) they can be operated as flexible as Diesel buses. The necessary hydrogen is either a by‐product from the local chemical industry or was made by electrolysis from renewable electricity. The coordinated procurement of buses based on a joint specification sheet targets at achieving lower prices for the buses. Andreas Meyer (WSW) said: “The constructive cooperation of the enterprises – also with the aim to make public transport greener – lead to a fast consensus on the technical specifications. We hope to have found a good basis not only for the actual, but also for further procurement rounds. For industry, this also means to get a guidance line for reaching scale effects which are beneficial for both the industry as well as for the operators.”

The joint procurement activity is part of the JIVE project, an EU funded project deploying 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses across nine cities, the first deployment of this scale in Europe. 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 consists of 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) and Heinrich Klingenberg (hySOLUTIONS GmbH, Hamburg). Frank Koch said: “More and more cities are confronted with severe administrative measures as the air is polluted too much. Emission‐free buses with batteries and fuel cells will help significantly to improve air quality n the cities. The joint procurement is an important milestone on the preparation of the market for fuel cell buses. We invite all interested bus operators in Germany, Austria and Northern Italy to join our network.” Further clusters exist in the UK, Benelux, France, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

About the JIVE project

The JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project seeks to deploy 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses and associated refuelling infrastructure across five countries. JIVE will run for six years from January 2017 and is co‐funded by a 32 million euro grant from the FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) under the European Union Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation. The overall objective of JIVE is to advance the commercialisation of fuel cell buses through large‐scale deployment of vehicles and infrastructure so that by the end of the project, fuel cell buses are commercially viable for bus operators to include in their fleets without subsidy, and that local and national governments feel empowered to regulate for zero emission propulsion for their public transport systems.

JIVE will introduce new fleets of fuel cell buses into urban and regional bus operations at an unprecedented scale. This will be made possible by multiple cities and regions collaborating in joint procurement processes, allowing large orders to be placed with single bus suppliers. The procurement activities are organised into three clusters and by clustering geographically, it is possible to provide common specifications for the buses, which is essential to unlock the economies of scale.

The regions and cities involved are Wuppertal, Rhein‐Main, Cologne region (Germany), London, Birmingham, Dundee, Aberdeen (United Kingdom), South Tyrol (Italy), Riga (Latvia) and Slagelse (Denmark). The project consortium comprises 22 partners from seven countries: Element Energy Ltd, Aberdeen City Council, Birmingham City Council, Dundee City Council, EE Energy Engineers GmbH, Energy Universe Europe ApS, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, HyCologne – Wasserstoff Region Rheinland e.V., Hydrogen Europe, hySOLUTIONS GmbH, London Bus Services Ltd, West Midlands Travel Ltd, PLANET GbR, RebelGroup, Rigas Satiksme Sia, Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH, SASA SpA‐AG,, ThinkStep AG, Trentino Trasporti S.p.A., Union Internationale des Transports Public, Verkehrs‐Verbund Mainz‐Wiesbaden GmbH and WSW mobil GmbH.

About the FCH JUFCH JU logo

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public private partnership supporting re‐ search, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon‐lean energy system. Fuel cells, as an efficient conversion technology, and hydrogen, as a clean energy carrier, have a great potential to help fight carbon dioxide emissions, to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons and to contribute to economic growth. The objective of the FCH JU is to bring these benefits to Europeans through a concentrated effort from all sectors. The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, Hydrogen Europe and N.ERGHY.

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