Solaris builds more H2 buses for Cologne and the greater Paris area

The German public transport operator Regionalverkehr Köln (RVK) has ordered 20 new fuel cell buses from Solaris. These will be delivered by the end of April 2025. Solaris will provide a further 22 Urbino 12 Hydrogen buses to France by 2025.

Image: RVK

First to Cologne, Germany. Regionalverkehr Köln has ordered nine Urbino 12 Hydrogen and eleven Urbino 18 Hydrogen. That means that both twelve-metre-long solo buses and 18-metre-long articulated buses with fuel cell drive will be in service in the city. The procurement is based on a funding decision issued to RVK by the German government in spring 2022 for a total of 108 fuel cell buses by 2025, including 29 articulated buses. The total subsidy for all 108 FC buses amounts to 33.9 million euros.

Solaris took part in the tender in 2022 and was awarded the contract for a total of 20 guaranteed and 20 optional H2 buses. The buses that have now been ordered are the option drawn. In addition to the Solaris solo models already in service, the Cologne-based company has ordered H2 buses from Wrightbus, and 35 FC buses from Van Hool are already in operation. A further 18 Solaris Urbino 18 Hydrogen articulated H2 buses, which were ordered last year, will be added this year.

Meanwhile, Solaris will deliver 22 Urbino 12 Hydrogen to the French capital by 2025. They will be part of a hydrogen pilot project of the Île-de-France Mobilités authority, which manages public transport in the greater Paris area. It launched a tender for 22 fuel cell buses with the support of the central procurement organization CATP (Centrale d’Achat du Transport Public) – and plans to test the potential of hydrogen technology for its public transport system. According to an accompanying press release, the trial is part of the initiatives and investments carried out since 2018 to renew the entire bus fleet in Île-de-France.

Île-de-France Mobilités announced last month that it would order 3,500 “clean” buses for urban and interurban transport in the greater Paris area – via CATP. According to the plans, around 1,000 of these new vehicles are to be put into service each year between 2025 and 2028. By “clean buses,” the initiators mean vehicles with electric, hybrid or biogas drives. Last month, the authorities did not reveal how many new buses will be electric (BEV or FCEV).

According to Solaris, it has already delivered its H2 buses to customers in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden. In its most recent annual report, Solaris stated that it had brought 180 hydrogen buses onto the market by the end of 2023 and had a market share of 44.5 per cent of hydrogen buses registered in Europe last year. By the end of 2023, the manufacturer claims to have received orders for 535 hydrogen buses with delivery dates between 2024 and 2026. (in German), (France), (Solaris sales figures 2023)


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