Strasbourg public transport operator CTS (Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois) has signed a framework contract with Portuguese bus manufacturer CaetanoBus for the delivery of up to 60 hydrogen buses over the next five years.
In a press release, CaetanoBus says that it was awarded the contract after an “international and demanding tender” and that it is “the largest framework contract for hydrogen-powered electric buses ever concluded in France with a single bus company”.
Up to 60 examples of the H2.City Gold are to be used, which will be equipped with the latest generation of Toyota’s fuel cell system from 2024.
When the first hydrogen buses could arrive in Strasbourg is not clear from the announcement.
Neither does the investment volume, the exact location of the buses within the city or accompanying refuelling infrastructure projects.
So far, CTS has mainly relied on battery-electric vehicles for the acquisition of buses with alternative drives: an order was placed with Alstom in 2019 and with Irizar in 2020.
The H2.City Gold is a lightweight standard low-floor bus with an aluminium body. The new generation FC system will offer 70 kW of power and will be combined with a 44 kWh LTO battery and a 180 kW peak power powertrain. CaetanoBus claims a range of over 500 kilometres.
“We are pleased to participate in the expansion of hydrogen fleets in Europe to support decarbonisation goals and help future generations enjoy a better quality of life. Hydrogen mobility is crucial for the decarbonisation of public transport and we are very committed to making this technology available to the city of Strasbourg now and to other French cities in the future,” expresses Nuno Lago de Carvalho, Chief Commercial Officer of CaetanoBus.
From the manufacturer’s point of view, the French market for hydrogen buses has developed strongly recently. Examples of the H2.City Gold have already been in use at the RATP in La Roche-Sur-Yon since 2022.
The city of Les Sables d’Olonne will also receive a bus duo soon.
At the end of 2022, the FC model was also included in the catalogue of the ‘Centrale d’Achat du Transport Public’ (CATP), a kind of central body for purchasing public transport.
Outside France, CaetanoBus has also signed large H2 bus framework agreements with the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (up to 60 units) and with EMT Madrid (ten units) in recent weeks.
With the new French order from CTS, it is now the European bus manufacturer with the largest order book for hydrogen-powered buses, the Portuguese company writes.