For the next few weeks, Parisian operator RATP will be trialling a Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen bus on the streets of Paris, to allow the RATP Group to test the technology’s capabilities in regular service.
In 2019, during the UITP Global Public Transport Summit, representatives of Solaris and RATP Group signed a contract for lease and tests of the hydrogen bus. The tests will be carried out over several weeks, and RATP will devote most of this time testing the operational capabilities of the vehicle in normal service.
The tests will be carried out in the south of Paris and the vehicle will be based at a depot in the Thiais district. It will be refuelled at the Jouy en Josas refuelling station in the south-west suburbs of the capital.
“RATP Group, committed to the development of smart and sustainable cities, is proud to collaborate with Solaris to test its Urbino 12 hydrogen bus. Hydrogen is indeed a major issue for the years to come. Taking up this challenge and testing new energies, the Group continues to be at the forefront of the energy transition,” said Marie-Claude Dupuis, RATP Group Deputy General Manager in charge of strategy, innovation and development.
The Urbino 12 hydrogen bus uses a bank of fuel cells with a power output of 70kW to generate energy. The bus is also fitted with a Solaris High Power battery acting as an additional electric power storage facility. The hydrogen is stored on the roof in five tanks, giving sufficient range to match vehicles with conventional drivelines.
Since its premiere in June last year Solaris has received orders from the Netherlands, Germany and Italy for 57 hydrogen buses in total. The first vehicles will make it to Bolzano, Cologne and Wuppertal by the end of this year.
“RATP Group is one of the most modern carriers in Europe, whose ambitious plans to transform the bus fleet are certainly admirable. Advanced Hydrogen technology may become one of the solutions leading to public transport which is friendly to the environment and the inhabitants of contemporary cities,” said Petros Spinaris, Board Member of Solaris Bus & Coach responsible for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
RATP Group carries millions of passengers daily in Paris and the Île-de-France region and has committed to completely transform its fleet of 4,700 buses to low-emission vehicles by 2025. It already operates 19 Solaris Urbino 18 CNG buses as well as three Solaris Urbino 8.9 LE electric buses.