Spotlight on fuel cell buses at the TEN-T days 2015

A major event for the fuel cell bus sector took place on 23 June 2015 in Riga, as part of the TEN-T days: Representatives of 5 national fuel cell bus clusters (Germany, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands and UK) signed a Letter of Understanding on behalf of some 30 European cities. In this letter, they state their committment to deploy and integrate several hundreds of fuel cell electric urban buses into their bus fleets, therefore proactively contributing to decarbonising public transport and to a better air quality. This declaration is an answer to the Letter of Understanding signed by the bus industry in November 2014, in which 5 major bus OEMs (Mercedes, Van Hool, Solaris, VDL, MAN)  expressed their readiness and willingness to deploy some 500 fuel cell buses by 2020 (see here).

The letter was symbolically handed over to Ms Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner of Transport, in the presence of Mr Nils Ušakovs, Mayor of Riga.

This declaration took place in the framework of the joint workshop organised between the FCH JU and TEN-T, the European Programme for heavy infrastructure “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF). This was  the first showcase of the new “Innovation Pipeline” concept integrating the main agenda of the TEN-T days. Th workshop gathered more than 30 stakeholders representatives.

Another declaration took place during the workshop:  innovative producers highlighted the commitment of industrial players towards commercialisation of fuel cell electric vehicles, underlining the technology readiness, including for long distance drives along the TEN-T Corridors and Network. “The main challenges for the FCH transport is no longer technical, it is commercial” states the declaration letter. The declaration also demonstrates the technology potential for cities in terms of decarbonisation; reducing road noises, power production, reducing energy imports and optimisation of renewables use.

These key symbolic announcements marked a crucial step forward:

“Culminating today with the 2 declarations, which are the two sides of the same medal: the declaration of the innovative first buyers and the declaration by the innovative producers. Both sides are key to a successful market introduction.“ (Commissioner Violeta Bulc)

Commissioner Bulc also made a tour of the fuel cell electric vehicles that were displayed in front of the conference premises, getting further explanation “live” of each type of vehicles: The fuel cell bus (the one usually in operation in Cologne) was part of the tour (see EC video as of 6:50)

Full press release available here and below for download

Source: FCH JU

Picture righst: FCH JU. Description from left to right:

Mr Bert De Colvenaer, Executive Director FCH JU, Mr Pierre Etienne Franc, Chairman of the NEW IG (Industry Grouping of the FCH JU, Mr Nils Ušakovs, Mayor of Riga, Els de Wit, representative of the NL Cluster, Mrs Kristen Holling, Representative of DE Cluster, Ms Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, Mr Bernard Frois, Chairman of the International Partnership of the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE), Ms Catherine Trautmann, European Coordinator North Sea-Baltic Corridor, Mr Kurt Bodewig, European Coordinator Baltic-Adriatic