Van Hool battery-electric and fuel cell buses
The Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool has just announced two electric world premieres for Busworld Europe in October. The CX45E is a purely electrically powered coach for the North American market and the Exqui.City 18 FC is an 18-metre-long articulated tram bus with hydrogen drive.
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Van Hool is bringing a total of 18 vehicles to Busworld, including seven coaches and one bus. Ten more coaches will be available for test drives. However, only the two models mentioned above are electric and emission-free.
The CX45E is a pure battery electric coach for the North American market. Van Hool has selected the American company Proterra to supply the battery technology E2. Proterra itself only announced in August that it was also offering its own technologies to other manufacturers. The Proterra batteries are expected to have a 648Kwh capacity and enable a range of more than 300 kilometres. Despite the reasonable range, Van Hool is not targeting long-distance travel with the bus. The full-electric bus is being being sold as an “ideal solution for many customers operating fixed routes, particularly in urban and private environments”.
The fuel cell buses are being officially presented for the first time despite already having clocked up some history. The buses were already ordered in 2017, when the French city of Pau ordered eight copies of the Exqui.City 18 FC from Van Hool. Now the hydrogen-powered model will make its official debut. The H2 bus can be refuelled within ten minutes and have a range of up to 300 kilometres. The 18-metre articulated bus will accommodate a total of 125 passengers. In addition, the eight buses will be the first complete BRT system (Bus Rapid Transit) consisting exclusively of 18-metre single-steered trams with hydrogen drive.
Update 19 October 2019: The Van Hool Exqui City18 Fuel Cell was awarded the Grand Award Bus at Busworld.