Van Hool, an independent manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles and member of Agoria, has entered into a contract with Transport for London (TfL) in the United Kingdom for the construction of two latest generation hydrogen buses. This new contract falls within the scope of 3Emotion, a European consortium developing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses in which Van Hool is acting as project coordinator. Fuel cell buses, in which hydrogen is converted into electricity, are currently among the most environmentally friendly public transport vehicles: they offer local zero emissions (absolutely no harmful emissions or CO2) and significantly reduced noise levels.
The two fuel cell buses for London are hybrid (fuel cell and battery powered) vehicles. Each bus is fitted with 35 seats, can accommodate a wheelchair and offers standing room for about 30 passengers. The vehicles will be put to use in London city centre.
The hybrid drive system will enable the buses to cover a full day’s travel distance of 300 km along the TfL (Transport for London) route on a tank capacity of 30 kg of hydrogen.
The drive is based on fuel cells, combined with lithium batteries and electric motors. The bus runs entirely on electricity. Hydrogen is converted into electricity in the fuel cell, with water vapour as the only emission, while the batteries provide additional power as and when needed. The hybrid drive system and the reuse of braking energy limits hydrogen consumption to about 8 kg per 100 km.
Filip Van Hool, CEO of Van Hool, is delighted with this new endorsement: “The fact that TfL, which operates a fleet of 9,050 buses, is ordering these buses from Van Hool, must be seen as a vote of confidence in this technology and our products. Van Hool has already supplied 49 hydrogen buses to the US and European Member States as part of other European projects, including five buses to De Lijn Antwerp. This new generation of hydrogen buses, which are being built at our facility in Koningshooikt, will pave the way for further commercialisation. These types of high added value vehicles are essential for the production unit in Koningshooikt.”