Solaris and transport operator Arriva Netherlands have signed a contract for the delivery of ten hydrogen buses. The twelve-meter fuel cell buses are to be delivered to the province of Gelderland later this year to replace diesel buses.
++ There’s been an update which you will find below. ++
Arriva plans to deploy the H2 buses in the Achterhoek region from December 2021 – specifically in the cities of Zutphen and Apeldoorn. Gelderland is the largest province in the Netherlands. Around two million people live there. According to Solaris, each of the ordered buses can carry up to 85 passengers with 37 seats, has air conditioning, video surveillance and a modern passenger information system. The doors are arranged in a 1-2-0 system.
First unveiled by Solaris in mid-2019, the new Urbino 12 hydrogen has a 60 kW fuel cell and several batteries on board. It is powered by an axle with two integrated electric motors, each producing 125 kW. Solaris states that the bus has a range of up to 350 kilometres. The hydrogen required for propulsion is stored in the Urbino 12 hydrogen in gaseous form in tanks with a total capacity of 1,560 litres, which are placed on the roof.
The background to the order is that the provincial government of Gelderland announced at the end of 2020 that it would participate in the European JIVE2 program (Joint Initiative For Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe). The program aims to increase the number of hydrogen buses in public transport, partly through subsidies of 148,000 euros per bus. Across Europe, 152 H2 buses are to be subsidized in 14 European regions as part of JIVE2.
Hydrogen technology is new to Arriva Netherlands. The transport company and the province of Gelderland are aiming for each H2 bus to cover 100,000 kilometres per year in the future (JIVE2 stipulates a minimum of 50,000 kilometres). The partners also plan to build a hydrogen refuelling station by December 2021.
Meanwhile, Solaris says it has received orders for 69 vehicles from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Sweden since the debut of the Urbino 12 hydrogen in June 2019. The latest order for 20 hydrogen-powered buses for South Holland’s province came from Dutch public transport operator Connexxion earlier this year.
Update 03 February 2021: As with all these hydrogen buses on order, Ballard signs responsible for the fuel cell stacks. Solaris now ordered another ten fuel cell modules from Ballard Power Systems. They will be used in the ten Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses ordered by Arriva as mentioned above.
According to Rob Campbell, Ballard’s Chief Commercial Operator, counting the ten H2 buses for Gelderland, Ballard modules will power a total of 67 Solaris buses in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
Additional reporting by Cora Werwitzke and Nora Manthey.