Bolzano (in Italian)/Bozen (in German) is the capital of the South Tyrol province in North of Italy. With a population of 104,000 inhabitants, Bozen is the largest city in South Tyrol and is member of the Covenants of Mayors.
Bozen Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) sets up the ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 24% by 2020 compared to the 2010 levels. In order to achieve this goal, the SEAP plans to reduce the CO2 emissions produced by transport by 19% by 2020.
As part of its overall sustainable mobility strategy, the city of Bozen is very much involved in the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies: a hydrogen centre (in which the hydrogen refuelling station is located) opened in June 2014. Alongside the fleet of buses, the city is deploying a fleet of fuel cell electric cars as part of additional European projects (e.g. HyFIVE)
The Südtiroler Transportstrukturen AG (STA) is responsible for the planning, the tendering process, the coordination and the administration of infrastructure projects for the public transport in the region. Once concluded, STA takes care of the service and maintenance of these infrastructures. STA has set itself as target the implementation of environmentally friendly and innovative mobility solutions in public transport. STA is the official local partner within CHIC
SASA (società autobus servizi d’area/städischer Autobus service AG) is operating the CHIC buses. Founded in 1948, SASA is owned by the municipalities of Bozen, Meran (Merano) and Leifers (Laives) and employs 318 employees. SASA provides urban and suburban public transport services to 208.152 inhabitants, and covers 6.963.428 km every year. The current total bus fleet is of 158 buses, of which 65 are CNG (compressed natural gas) buses. SASA is strongly committed to providing comfort to all, with 90% of the fleet having a wheelchair ramp access and 78% of the bus fleet with air conditioning.
The IIT (Institut für innovative Technologien/Istituto per innovazioni Tecnologiche) is responsible for the production of hydrogen and the refuelling of the buses: the IIT hosts the hydrogen centre, in which the refuelling infrastructure is located. The European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) is supporting the set-up of the hydrogen centre in Bozen, which has been officially inaugurated on 5 June 2014 (see press release).
The Autonomous Province of Bozen-South Tyrol contributed to the co-financing of 2/3 of the project – co-founding the vehicles, the infrastructure (partly owned by the province), dissemination and education activities via its innovation found.
Five 12-meter buses (EvoBus) are operated on the lines 10A and 10B, with a 12 hour shift from Monday until Saturday.
Routes types: Urban – flat – low temperature winters, high temperature summers
An existing paint shop was converted into a bus depot; it contains one bay (max. two buses in line). The maintenance regarding fuel cells and high-voltage components is done at the suppliers Service Center in Brixen, 40 km away from the operator’s regular bus depot in Bozen.
On-site generation of hydrogen. Hydrogen is produced from the electrolysis of water (= green hydrogen)
While the five fuel cell buses will continue their operation until 2018, the province of South Tyrol is looking at the next steps; South Tyrol has indicated its commitment to integrate further fuel cell buses as part of its bus fleet by signing a letter of understanding, along with some 30 other cities and regions, at the occasion of the TEN-T days in Riga.
Mr Florian Mussner, mobility member of the South Tyrol government said: ”The aim is to drive forward emission free mobility and create sustainable transport systems through the use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies”. More on Bozen commitment here
The local partners in Bozen have issued videos of the project in IT, EN and DE.
Picture bus: © STA; picture hydrogen refuelling station © IIT