Deutsche Bahn has ordered 60 hydrogen buses for its bus division DB Regio Bus for the first time.
The company signed a framework agreement with Portuguese manufacturer CaetanoBus for the buses of the type H2.City Gold, to be delivered by 2026.
DB Regio already placed binding orders for the first seven buses, worth almost 40 million euros.
The operator says the vehicles will be delivered this year and be used in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein from the beginning of 2024.
H2.City Gold measures twelve meters in length and Toyota will supply the fuel cells.
CaetanoBus electric buses even sported the Toyota logo since 2021 as part of this cooperation. That will also be the case for the fuel cell buses for DB Regio.
The H2.City Gold offers 34 seats and 47 standing places. It is wheelchair accessible as there are no steps and a two-meter-wide aisle. The vehicles can travel between 350 (winter) and 550 (summer) kilometres on one tank of hydrogen.
DB Regio Bus chose this model for its first major order of fuel cell buses due to previous relations with CaetanoBus: two units of the previous generation are in operation at DB subsidiary Autokraft.
“Hydrogen buses are climate-friendly on the road and have another advantage: they can be filled up faster than the batteries of an electric bus are charged,” says Evelyn Palla, Member of the Management Board of Regional Transport DB AG.
“With their long range, hydrogen buses are particularly well suited to replace existing diesel vehicles in rural areas.”
DB Regio Bus plans to only purchase zero-emission vehicles from 2030 and phase out the last diesel-powered bus in 2038, according Sustainable Bus.