Handover Ceremony of the European Green Capital

When: 15 December, 2011

On 15 December, 2011, the European Commission officially hand over the “European Green Capital” title from Hamburg, Germany to Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, further promoting sustainable transport initiatives throughout Europe. During the Ceremony EU Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik passes the “Green Book” from Michael Sachs of Hamburg, to Javier Maroto Aranzabal.

This exciting event marks the third year of the European Green Capital initiative, which recognises the important position local authorities play in improving the environment. With four out of five people living in urban areas throughout Europe today, promoting and showcasing best practice in cities is an excellent way to exchange ideas, strike up “friendly competition” and provide inspiration for green growth.

Beginning in 2010, Stockholm, Sweden, became the first European Green Capital with its high standards of sustainable transport and ambitious targets for greenhouse gas reduction. The city has seen a 75% increase in cycling over the past ten years and a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels. Its fleet of renewably-fuelled trains and inter-city buses, along with the “Clean Vehicles in Stockholm” initiative – where one in three cars sold in the city are clean – makes such goals possible. Further, through development of a “Professional Study Tour” programme in 2010, Stockholm has shown leadership in exchanging ideas and inspiration for sustainable urban growth.

CHIC one year later….

The Clean Hydrogen In European Cities Project was officially launch in November 2010, and more than a year later the project has seen extensive progress in each of the cities and regions involved. Public transport operations of Fuel Cell Hydrogen (FCH) Buses commenced in Cologne, Hamburg, and London. While Oslo and Aargau have begun testing their first buses, Milan is expecting their first buses delivered before the end of 2011.

The CHIC project has established an important milestone for hydrogen infrastructure developments within the past year. Although a few cities are able to utilize existing refuelling facilities, new hydrogen stations have been completed and in service in Cologne and London; progress is being seen on the building of new hydrogen stations and production facilities in Hamburg, Oslo, Aargau, Milan, and Bolzano/Bozen.

Let us not forget our transatlantic friends in Whistler, Canada who have continued and improved their fleet of 20 FCH buses in regular operation.

Milan Hydrogen Buses “Green” Design
08 Dec, 2011 All new buses in Milan have been given a sleek new “Green” look! The CHIC FCH Buses will be part of the city’s Green ambitions, with the evident H2 Logo on the side, these buses will be put into regular public service in February 2012 More info >>
First Oslo Bus in Testing
08 Dec, 2011 The first prototype of the CHIC FCH bus for Oslo is being testing in Belgium by Van Hool Bus Manufacturer. Buses for the CHIC cities are supplied by bus manufacturers (Daimler EvoBus and WrightBus, and Van Hool) which build each bus to fit the requirements for the operations within the city/region of the CHIC project More info >>

Behind the Wheel of a Fuel Cell Hydrogen Bus

In November 2011, Aargau’s first Fuel Cell Hydrogen Bus was delivered and began driver testing and training. The training for driving intructors of the PostBus Fuel Cell Hydrogen (FCH) bus began 28th of October, bus manufacturer and supplier of the FCH buses in Aargau, Daimler EvoBus conducted training of local driving instructors. Following the PostBus driving instructors trained the individual drivers.

Prior to the practical training, the drivers were able to take part in an online theoretical course that covered, FCH vehicle technology, presenting the differences between the conventional combustion engine and the Fuel Cell, important aspects of the high voltage and fuel cell system were highlighted as well as instruction on hydrogen behavior, fuel quality, safety and refuelling.

During the test drives the drivers experienced the FCH bus for the first time, with the opportunity, the CHIC dissemination team took the time to get to know the drivers and their first impressions of the new bus, the driving method, and what they think of the CHIC project in Switzerland. In an interview with the Mr. Tom Krieger, PostBus driver Mr. Krieger responds on his first impressions of driving the hydrogen bus, “It is a very nice ride,  because it is does not have the vibrations and shakes of the combustion engine. It is much more powerful than I expected from an electric vehicle.”

Bolzano/Bozen Hydrogen Production Plant in Progress
08 Dec, 2011 The first renewable hydrogen production plant in Bolzano/Bozen is being built! The production plant will use renewable hydro-power to produce hydrogen via electrolysis. The renewable hydrogen produced in this plant will be used to refuel the 5 CHIC Fuel Cell Hydrogen (FCH) buses other hydrogen vehicles deployed in the region. Built by the Brenner Highway Company A22, operation of the plant will begin in 2012 More info >>
Hamburg’s Hydrogen Buses and New Refuelling Station
07 Dec, 2011 Hamburg, as a pioneer in Clean public transport, and a Phase 0 city of the CHIC project currently has 2 FCH buses running in regular public transport service More info >>
Progress of building new Hydrogen Station in Oslo
06 Dec, 2011 By April 2012 Oslo will have completed the building of a new hydrogen station to facilitate the refuelling of Oslo’s 5 Fuel Cell Hydrogen Buses.The first stages of building include setting the concrete floor, which was set Monday 28th of November 2011 More info >>
EU Sustainable Energy Week 2012
18 Jun - 22 Jun, 2012 Save the date! EUSEW 2012 will take place all over Europe and in Brussels from 18 to 22 June 2012. On these days hundreds of events organised in all parts of Europe will show, promote, discuss and celebrate renewable energy and energy efficiency – and CHIC will be part of it!  More info >>
Hannover Messe 2012
23 Apr - 27 Apr, 2012 The Hannover H2+FC Fair will take place April 23-27 2012. As the world’s largest trade fair for energy technologies, it is a platform for products and solutions that contribute to an efficient, sustainable, secure and competitive energy mix More info >>
Handover Ceremony of the European Green Capital
15 December, 2011 On 15 December, 2011, the European Commission officially hand over the “European Green Capital” title from Hamburg, Germany to Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, further promoting sustainable transport initiatives throughout Europe More info >>