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Ballard Market Update: Recent Developments in Europe’s Fuel Cell Bus Market

By February 11, 2019

Ballard Power today, issued the following market update on its fuel cell electric bus efforts in Europe.

Aberdeen Fuel Cell Buses Surpass 1M Mile Mark

Aberdeen, Scotland’s fleet of 10 zero-emission Fuel Cell Electric Buses (FCEBs) surpassed the 1-million mile (1.6 million kilometer) operating milestone in January 2019. The buses went into operation in 2014, co-financed through two projects funded by the European Fuel Cells Joint Undertaking (FCH JU): High V.LO-City and HyTransit. Each bus is powered by a Ballard FCveloCity®-HD 150 kilowatt (kW) module.

Six of the fleet’s Van Hool NV buses are operated by Stagecoach on the X17 Aberdeen city center to Westhill route, while First operates four buses on the X40 Kingswell Bridge of Dawn park-and-ride route. The fleet carries an average of 36,700 passengers per month, operating 7 days per week and has experienced more than 1,600 refuelings to date, with each refueling taking just 5-to-7 minutes. Buses in the fleet travel as far as 250 miles (400 km) per day.

Councilor Philip Bell, Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson said, “The million mile figure is one to celebrate and demonstrates the positive impact the hydrogen bus fleet has had in Aberdeen. Our city has a proud reputation as a global energy hub stretching back decades and this project shows Aberdeen is committed to continuing to push boundaries and developing technology that paves the way for a real shift in traditional thinking. The Council’s own teams have worked hand in hand with the private sector to roll out the fleet and create the supporting infrastructure and this fantastic milestone is a great credit to all involved.”

First Denmark Fuel Cell Buses Planned for 2019

Three Van Hool zero-emission FCEBs, powered by Ballard 85kW FCveloCity®-HD modules, are to be deployed in Aalborg, Denmark – located just 30-minutes from Ballard’s European operations center in Hobro, Denmark – starting in 2019 under the 3Emotion funding program. These are the first fuel cell-powered buses to be deployed in Denmark, where they will operate for an initial 3-year period under the funding program and are expected to continue operation in normal service through subsequent years.

The City of Aalborg has also signed a contract for an electrolysis system and hydrogen refueling station with GreenHydrogen, a Danish company, with the aim of producing hydrogen only during periods of surplus renewable electricity so that the impact is largely CO2-neutral.

Van Hool will deliver A330 FCEBs to Aalborg, the same model it plans to deploy in Germany under the Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (“JIVE”) funding programs. In 2018 Van Hool ordered 40 Ballard 85kW FCveloCity®-HD modules for 30 buses it plans to deploy with the Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH transit agency in Cologne, Germany and 10 buses it plans to deploy with WSW mobil GmbH transit agency in Wuppertal, Germany.

Jesper Themsen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S noted, “With European cities announcing plans to limit or even eliminate diesel buses and other internal combustion vehicles by specific target dates, we are now seeing a clear increase in the momentum toward deployment of zero-emission fuel cell electric buses. The value proposition offered by FCEBs is a strong fit where the requirements include long range, fast refueling, and route flexibility.”

About Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel cell programs. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.