H2Bus Consortium Established to Deploy Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Buses in Europe

June 06, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Ballard Power Systems, Hexagon Composites, Everfuel, Wrightbus, Ryse Hydrogen, and Nel Hydrogen, players in the hydrogen fuel cell electric value chain, announced that they are forming the H2Bus Consortium. The goal of the consortium is to deploy 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, along with the supporting infrastructure, in European cities at commercially competitive rates.

Ballard will provide the hydrogen fuel cell modules for the buses. Hexagon composite will supply high-pressure cylinders to hold the hydrogen fuel. Everfuel will provide the hydrogen fuel produced from green energy sources and water. Wrightbus will manufacture the vehicles. Ryse Hydrogen will provide green hydrogen and hydrogen refueling stations as part of the infrastructure deployment. Nel Hydrogen will supply hydrogen fuel generating systems as well as hydrogen fuel storage and dispensing equipment.

The consortium says that its ground-breaking hydrogen fuel cell electric bus solution will be the most economical zero-emission option available. A single-decker bus will be priced under €375,000 after funding, hydrogen will cost between €5 and €7 per kilogram, and each bus will provide public transport for about €0.30 per kilometer.

Notably, the zero-tailpipe emission feature of the fuel cell bus' operation will be complemented by zero-emission hydrogen production from renewable energy sources, make it a "well-to-wheel" emission-free transportation solution.

"It is essential that commercial players join forces to realize the true zero-emission mobility society," says David Barnett, Business Development Director at Wrightbus. "The hydrogen fuel cell electric bus is the ideal substitute for fossil solutions, without compromising range, operational ability or cost. Wrightbus is also expanding its product offering to include a fuel cell electric double-decker bus, 12-meter single-decker bus and articulated bus in order to serve a wider customer base. We are currently witnessing the transformation of public transport for the benefit of both current and coming generations and we feel privileged to be part of this transition together with the other consortium members."

For the first phase of the project, totalling 600 buses, the Consortium will get €40 million in support from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF1). The funding will enable the deployment of 200 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses and the establishment of hydrogen fuel infrastructure in Denmark, Latvia, and the UK by 2023.

"Hydrogen is the zero-emission solution for heavy-duty applications. Hydrogen can efficiently be produced from renewable electricity and distributed in high capacity hydrogen trailers to bus depots. Here, a hydrogen bus can be fueled in five minutes. This is comparable to diesel," says Jacob Krogsgaard, CEO of Everfuel. "We are setting up a dedicated hydrogen value chain to cut costs and, in doing so, to approach operational parity with buses which use

traditional fuels."

"The H2Bus Consortium provides the complete package including fuel cell buses and hydrogen fuel. We will offer the most affordable zero-emission bus to meet the increasing demand in the largest cities of Europe," continued Jacob Krogsgaard.