GERMANY The opening of the hydrogen filling station at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) on June 11 saw the launch of dedicated shuttle services for students and staff using two Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuelCELL buses.
The KIT shuttle is a route for students and employees at KIT Campus South, the former University of Karlsruhe, and KIT Campus North. The service on the 15km route links the north, south and east campus bus stops.
Improved fuel-cell components (the fuel-cell stacks are identical to those in the Mercedes-Benz B-Class FCELL) and hybridisation with lithium-ion batteries (27 kW/h) the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is claimed to save 50% more hydrogen than the preceding generation. The number of storage tanks has been reduced from nine to seven reservoirs for a total of 35 kg of hydrogen – reducing weight. Engineers additionally focused on sustainability, intelligently linking the fuel cell with several components. The battery, electric wheel hub drive and the integral braking energy recuperation system are networked together.
The fuel-cell bus is said to have a range of over 300km and refuelling takes eight to 10 minutes.