Aschaffenburg orders H2 buses from Solaris
In Germany, the municipal utility company Stadtwerke Aschaffenburg has ordered twelve hydrogen buses from the Polish manufacturer Solaris – ten Urbino 12 hydrogen solo buses and two Urbino 18 hydrogen articulated buses . The latter two are a first for Solaris.
The manufacturer presented the articulated 18-meter hydrogen bus in September 2022. Stadtwerke Aschaffenburg is the first customer to order the bus. Both models are scheduled to arrive in the Bavarian city as soon as 2024. Solaris did not provide any details on the investment costs.
In all vehicles, hydrogen is stored in gaseous form and carried in tanks on the roof. There are differences in power and battery capacity: while the Urbino 12 hydrogen buses have fuel cell modules with 70 kW and a battery with 30 kWh, the Urbino 18 hydrogen buses feature 100 kW fuel cells and two batteries with a combined capacity of 60 kWh. When electricity demand is high, the fuel cells will draw additional energy from the batteries.
Standard equipment on board all vehicles includes air conditioning, a passenger communication system, an automatic passenger counting system, and cameras to monitor the passenger compartment and the area around the bus. As is now the case in almost all new buses, USB charging sockets are also installed. According to Solaris, the buses for Aschaffenburg will also get some optional features, such as cameras instead of exterior mirrors, an assistance system to warn of objects near the vehicle (“MobileEye Shield+ system”) and the eSConnect fleet management system.
While Aschaffenburg will be among the first municipalities to be home to Solaris’ hydrogen-powered 18-meter bus, the solo bus variant unveiled in 2019 is already more widespread. According to the manufacturer, more than 200 units have already been ordered, some 100 of which have already been delivered to Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland.
Stadtwerke Aschaffenburg is open to both battery-electric and hydrogen technology in the transport sector. The municipal power company has been a member of the Hydrogen Alliance of Bavaria since May 2021. The alliance aims to create a network and exchange knowledge among hydrogen stakeholders from business, science and politics with a base in Bavaria. In addition to public transport, Stadtwerke Aschaffenburg also wants to test hydrogen as a propulsion fuel for waste collection vehicles.