On 22 December 2015, Van Hool, an Belgian independent designer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, has entered into a contract with Transport for London (TfL) for the construction of two latest generation hydrogen buses.
This new contract falls under the scope of the European fuel cell bus project 3Emotion, co-financed by the FCH JU and led by Van Hool. The vehicles will be added to the current fleet of 8 hydrogen buses (co-financed under the CHIC project) running on the RV1 route in London city centre.
The two new fuel cell buses for London are hybrid Van Hool A330 12-metre buses with two axles. They are equipped with the latest Fuel Cell module from Ballard Power Systems (FCvelocity-HD7). Each bus has 35 seats, space for a wheelchair user and standing room for 30+ passengers. The hybrid drive system will enable the buses, with a tank content of 30 kg of hydrogen on board, to travel 300 km daily without having to return to the bus bus to refuel, which is a sufficient autonomy for TfL’s daily service.
The drive system is based on fuel cells, lithium batteries and electric motors. The bus runs entirely on electricity. Hydrogen is converted into electricity in the fuel cell, while the batteries provide additional power as and when needed. This hybrid drive system and the energy recovery from braking limits hydrogen consumption to around 8 kg per 100 km. The only emission of the bus at the tailpipe is water vapour.
Picture © Van Hool