Solaris fuel cell buses en route to Austria
Austria’s Postbus Ag has ordered 40 hydrogen buses from Poland’s Solaris. The framework agreement specifies delivery between 2021 and 2023 and is part of a larger contract that also includes conventionally-powered buses.
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The Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses make up about a quarter of the total 182 vehicles on order. The company describes the fuel cell model as the “most innovative” in its range. The rest of the vehicles will adhere to Euro 6 emissions standards, and Postbus AG envisions them in services across Austria.
The energy to power the hydrogen buses is generated in 70 kW fuel cells via reverse electrolysis. The electricity goes directly to the driveline, consisting of an axle with electric motors, says Solaris. Postbus vehicles also feature a High Power battery while gaseous hydrogen is in tanks on the roof with a volume of 1560 litres.
Solaris says their Urbino 12 hydrogen has been ordered in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Sweden, for 69 buses in total since its inception in June 2019.
ÖBB Postbus has been testing hydrogen buses for some time and call the technology “extremely promising”. Trials included the Vienna Airport Lines in 2018 and more recent testing in Styria in 2019 and Carinthia last year. It is unclear whether all these models came from Solaris.
The operator has also won a tender from Lower Austria and more specifically the “wine quarter”. ÖBB is to run eleven electric buses in the region starting in summer 2022. ÖBB Postbus did not say where the battery-electric buses will come from.
Update 3 January 2022:
ÖBB Postbus and Solaris have signed a contract for the delivery of five hydrogen buses to be used in Villach. This is the first fixed order from the framework agreement concluded above. The order was placed in December and is to be delivered by the end of November 2022.
A hydrogen-powered Urbino 12 hydrogen was already presented and tested in Carinthia in spring 2021, including in Villach. Solaris that this gave representatives of the local authorities and public transport operators the opportunity to take a close look at the technology used in the vehicle.