Poland’s prolific busmaker Solaris will present their first hydrogen bus next year. The fuel cell electric vehicle is based on their Urbino series but with a longer range of up to 350 km on one fill. A traction battery is to support the bus at peak times.
Solaris has been working on extending their portfolio to finally include the last missing zero emission technology. In fact, their hydrogen Urbino not only built on their existing model but on a prototype with fuel cells that had been testing in Hamburg since 2014. There, the fuel cells serve as range extender.
In the upcoming model however, the hydrogen drive is to take centre stage. The driveline of the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen will get its power from two 60 kW fuel cells powered from hydrogen stored in a tank on the roof. It is enough for a range of more than 350 km (217 miles), says Solaris.
Additionally the bus will feature a traction battery of 29.2 kWh to support the fuel cell when the demand for energy is highest. In turn, the fuel cell will also recharge the battery although it may also be plugged into a charging outlet just as any conventional electric bus.
An axle with dual integrated electric motors, with a nominal power of 60 kW each, will constitute the drive unit. The twelve-meter bus will be able to carry up to 80 passengers.
Both fuel-cell-fitted Solaris Urbino buses delivered to Hamburg in 2014 still cover bus route 109 on a regular basis. Additionally, the Polish bus producer supplied the first trolleybus with fuel cells to Riga last year and ten such hydrogen vehicles will drive across the capital of Latvia in total before the year’s end.
The all-hydrogen Urbino by Solaris is slated for launch in 2019.
Meanwhile, Toyota has already launched their fuel cell bus, the SORA in Japan.