Hydrogen Bus in Lucerne – “technically, It’s Even Better Than I Had Imagined”

By April 5, 2022 4   min read  (673 words)

April 5, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, Hydrogen Bus in Lucerne – “technically, It’s Even Better Than I Had Imagined”.

In its e-bus strategy, the transport association had question marks about the energy efficiency of hydrogen buses. Nevertheless, such a bus is now being tested. You have to be open to new technologies, according to the companies involved.

  • VBL, Auto AG Rothenburg and PostBus are testing a hydrogen bus.
  • The first conclusion is positive.
  • In the e-bus strategy of the transport association, hydrogen buses were also viewed critically.

A new type of hydrogen bus has been on the road in the canton of Lucerne since last Monday. The demo vehicle from the manufacturer Solaris is the first of its kind in Switzerland. It is being tested by Verkehrsbetrieb Luzern AG, Auto AG Rothenburg and Postbus AG. The Lucerne Transport Association (VVL) is also involved in the tests.

The bus is currently being tested by Auto AG Rothenburg.

Martin Senn, managing director Martin Senn draws a positive first conclusion:  “The first few days were successful. Since Monday morning, the vehicle has been in use for 15.5 hours a day without interruption. The bus covers almost 200 kilometres a day. “When the bus returns in the evening, the tank is still half full. Theoretically, the vehicle could cover 400 kilometers with one tank of fuel,” says Senn.

Positive reactions from staff and passengers

“Technically, it’s even better than I had imagined. With a battery bus you could probably not cover the same daily output,” says the managing director.

The bus is tested on almost all local bus lines in Emmen, including on hilly routes. So far, the staff and passengers have received very positive reactions.

But why is a hydrogen bus interesting for companies? Thus, in 2020, these buses were installed in a Study of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), “because on the one hand the production of hydrogen is energy-intensive and on the other hand the conversion of hydrogen into electricity in the fuel cell is associated with great energy loss.”

The VVL also had 2019 in its E-bus strategy Question marks regarding the energy efficiency of vehicles. According to the report, the greatest potential lies in e-buses with batteries.

Dämi Deubelbeiss, VBL spokesman, said: “The aim of the e-bus strategy is to get away from diesel buses by 2040 at the latest.”

“With battery buses, the range is currently still relatively small. On longer distances, the hydrogen bus is therefore an option worth considering, as this bus can cover longer distances,” says Deubelbeiss. On the VBL network, the bus will be tested on lines 10, 14, 22, 25 and 26.

“On the various lines, we can test how the bus behaves in hilly and longer routes and whether it makes sense to use it there.”

Conversion to battery buses started

Romeo Degiacomi, media spokesman for the VVL. A lot has happened since the publication of the e-bus strategy, said: “Energy efficiency is currently still a handicap, but the range after refuelling is usually greater than with battery-powered vehicles.  “You have to see that a lot is happening in the market in terms of technology and efficiency.

“We must therefore remain open to different technologies, after all, this is also about the procurement of many vehicles,” says Degiacomi. Costs are also an important point, as taxpayers’ money is also used to replace the diesel bus fleet.

“A diesel bus is cheaper today than an electric bus.” The tests are important in order to have comparison possibilities with other technologies such as battery buses. “Our goal of the e-bus strategy is for all buses in the Canton of Lucerne to run efficiently and with low emissions by 2040,” said the spokesman.

As part of a pilot operation, bus line 10 in the city was converted to battery buses last December. By the end of 2022, lines 60, 64, 70 and 89 will follow in the more rural areas.

On which lines diesel buses will be replaced next, is currently still open: “At the moment, together with the transport companies, we are in the middle of planning the next steps,” says Degiacomi.


Read the most up to date Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industry news at FuelCellsWorks


Author FuelCellsWorks

More posts by FuelCellsWorks
error: Alert: Content is protected !!