Belgium-based bus OEM Van Hool has signed a purchase order with Ballard Power Systems for 20 FCveloCity-HD 85 kW fuel cell modules to power buses in Groningen, the Netherlands, under the JIVE2 funding program.
Ballard plans to deliver the modules in 2020. These will power 20 Van Hool A330 model fuel-cell electric buses that are planned for deployment with Qbuzz, the transit agency for the city of Groningen, by the end of next year.
Shell has been contracted to build a hydrogen refueling station at the Peizerweg bus depot in Groningen to support this fleet, with each bus having a range of 220 to 250 miles between refuelings.
“Hydrogen is no longer an experimental fuel, but has become a serious zero-emission drivetrain used in everyday public transportation,” says Fleur Gräper-van Kookwijk, regional minister for the province of Groningen and chairwoman of the Public Transport Authority OV-bureau. “We are proud to implement hydrogen at this scale in the north of the Netherlands and to be a front runner in the Netherlands and Europe.”
Ballard’s earlier-generation modules have been operating in some European buses for more than 35,000 hours with only minimal fuel cell maintenance required, the company says.