A fleet of new Solaris hydrogen-fuelled vehicles will be deployed in the picturesque city of Villach, the capital of the Carinthian Alps in south-east Austria, representing the first order placed under an agreement with the option for the purchase of up to 40 similar vehicles. The investment coincides with the start of the H2 Carinthia project which aims to foster the development of hydrogen technology in the region, providing support for the development of the use of hydrogen in public transport and for industrial purposes. It will cover, among other things, the first hydrogen fuelling station in Carinthia, as well as the addition of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to existing bus fleets.
ÖBB Postbus could purchase of up to 40 hydrogen buses by 2023 as part of the agreement, and has ordered the first five of the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses, which offer a claimed range of about 350km under all kinds of conditions. Solaris expects to deliver the vehicles by the end of November. ÖBB Postbus is the biggest bus operator in Austria and operates some 169 conventional diesel-powered Solaris Urbino vehicles.
“The start of a new, ‘electric’ chapter in the cooperation with our customer Postbus is not only a great honour for us, but it also marks a chance at fostering the green change in public transport in Austria by providing innovative solutions. Seeing as Austrian clients have expressed interest in hydrogen and electric technology used in buses, I am extremely optimistic about the development of sustainable transport in this part of Europe,” remarked Petros Spinaris, Member of the Management Board of Solaris Bus & Coach for Sales, Marketing and After Sales. So far, some 100 hydrogen-powered Urbino 12s have been sold to clients in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.