More fuel buses for London

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.

London likely to receive two hydrogen fuel cell buses as part of EU project

The 3Emotion project foresees the delivery of 21 hydrogen fuel cell buses to London, Rome (Italy), Rotterdam and the Province of Zuid-Holland (Netherlands), Cherbourg (France) and Flanders (Belgium) as well as the creation of new fuelling stations in Cherbourg and Rome.

3Emotion (Environmentally Friendly, Efficient, Electric Motion) valued at €41.8m, has Van Hool leading a consortium of 14 partners and the Belgium manufacturer will develop two new types of fuel cell bus. Transport for London is a partner and while nothing has been agreed, talks are ongoing for the supply of two vehicles. One of the Van Hool A330 fuel cell buses that Stagecoach will operate in Aberdeen was briefly trialled in London last year.

It’s up to local public transport organisations and local political involvement to evaluate, consider and negotiate about the investments required in order to acquire the number of vehicles scheduled. This needs to be done in a 2015-2019 timeframe in order to benefit from the €15m that the European Union (EU) is contributing.

Van Hool is to coordinate the entire project including research, development and manufacturing of buses powered by hydrogen and the infrastructure for the hydrogen fuelling stations. With the project, the consortium meets targets set by the EU: reduction of CO2 and other harmful emissions such as fine dust and NOx, the goal of zero-emissions public transport and renewable energy sources, and the creation of green jobs in the member states. For Flanders it includes three articulated buses that will be deployed in Antwerp together with the hydrogen-powered Van Hool buses recently delivered.

Filip Van Hool, CEO at Van Hool NV, stressed the importance of this project for the company. “We already have some 10 years of experience with hydrogen fuel cell buses,” he said. “Today, we have 49 operational in Europe (27) and USA (22). The priceless experience that we have gained in the process will prove valuable for the development of new-generation hydrogen fuel cell buses within the framework of the 3Emotion project. These vehicles with high added value are of tremendous importance for our plant in Koningshooikt.”