On 12 November 2014, representatives of five major European bus manufacturers (Daimler Buses (EvoBus), MAN, Solaris, Van Hool and VDL Bus & Coach) have signed a joint Letter of Understanding at the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking’s (FCH JU) Stakeholders Forum in Brussels. The Letter underlines the commitment of bus manufacturers towards the commercialisation and market introduction of fuel cell electric buses in urban public transport. Fuel cell buses run on hydrogen and constitute a zero emissions transport alternative.
Scholz: Zero-Emission Buses By 2020
In a symbolic ceremony, the Letter was handed over to Hamburg’s First Mayor, Olaf Scholz, and Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise. Scholz and Malthouse represent two major European cities at the forefront of promoting low emissions public transport systems. In his opening address, Olaf Scholz stated that “The City of Hamburg envisages purchasing only emission-free buses from 2020, thereby increasing the quality of life for all citizens.”
EU Funds Several Test Projects
In the last decade, several large-scale projects demonstrated that the fuel cell buses can be operated safely on European roads. There are currently about 50 fuel cell buses in service, with a further 20 to be added next year in over a dozen European cities. A commercialisation initiative for fuel cell buses, launched by the FCH JU and supported by the signing manufacturers and bus operators from major European cities such as Hamburg and London, aims at deploying a total volume of 500 – 1,000 fuel cell buses in Europe until 2020. More than 30 European cities and regions as well as their transport agencies have already declared their interest in fuel cell buses within the bus commercialisation study of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.