The public transport operator Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft (DVG) has ordered 25 hydrogen buses from Solaris.
Under the contract, the Polish manufacturer is to deliver eleven Urbino 12 hydrogen solo buses to DVG by the end of 2024 and 14 Urbino 18 hydrogen articulated buses by mid-2025.
DVG is pursuing a hydrogen-only strategy for the electrification of its bus fleet and wants to convert the entire fleet to fuel-cell technology.
To this end, a total of 100 new fuel cell buses are to be procured by 2030 and the necessary hydrogen tank and workshop infrastructure created.
Politically, the course for this major project was set in November 2022.
So now the purchase of the first quarter of the targeted FC buses is taking place.
DVG expects “an initial investment of around 20.5 million euros for the 25 vehicles”.
Part of this is to be covered by subsidies.
According to the transport company, it receives subsidies from the Rhine-Ruhr transport association and expects “a total subsidy of about 6.8 million euros”.
According to a DVG statement, the twelve-metre buses will each have a 70 kW fuel cell module and an electric motor drive with 160 kW on board.
In the articulated bus, the FC module has an output of 100 kW and the electric drive system 240 kW.
The buses will have a range of up to 400 kilometres on one tank of fuel.
The tender for the construction of the required hydrogen infrastructure is expected to be issued in the third quarter of 2023.
“With the order of the first 25 hydrogen buses we are taking another important step towards making public transport in Duisburg completely emission-free and sustainable. With this transformation, we will make a decisive contribution to climate protection and to increasing the quality of life in Duisburg,” stated DVG CEO Marcus Wittig.
With the fundamental decision in favour of fuel cells, DVG will not only discard diesel buses in the future, but also the seven battery-electric articulated buses that have been on the road since March 2022.
The City of Duisburg cites a study in which the advantages and disadvantages of battery and fuel cell buses were compared under various aspects as the basis for the decision to switch to H2 buses.
The result showed that fuel cell technology not only has a cost advantage in operation but also achieves lower CO2 emissions when using green hydrogen than when using green electricity for battery buses, according to an accompanying statement.