The German cities of Cologne and Wuppertal have ordered a total of 40 hydrogen buses from Belgian Van Hool. Deliveries are to start in spring 2019. Cologne will receive 30 H2 buses with Wuppertal taking the remaining ten. The order is part of the EU JIVE project.
For Van Hool it is the largest such order in Europe to date. The buses will be made in Belgium with fuel cell stacks made by Ballard. The Van Hool A330 buses measure 12 metres and are driven by a 210 kW electric motor by Siemens. Van Hool puts their range at 350 km with tanks holding 38.2 kilos of hydrogen.
Cologne had ordered the hydrogen buses already last October following a successful trial (we reported). The purchase is supported with funding of 13 million euros. The money has been granted to Cologne’s public transport agency RKV through the federal programme NOW. Germany is to pay 7.4m euros with the other 5.6m euros coming through the EU’s JIVE project. Once the buses will go into service by 2019, RKV will operate one of the biggest fuel cell bus fleets in Europe and holds an option for another ten H2 vehicles.
The order from Wuppertal is part of the same EU initiative for public transport. Project JIVE will see the purchase of about 140 fuel cell buses starting by 2018. Apart from Germany, buses purchased with JIVE funding will also reach the UK (London, Birmingham, Dundee, and Aberdeen), Italy (South Tirol), Latvia (Riga), as well as Denmark (Slagelse).