Milestone move towards net zero, with vehicle featuring fuel efficient, lightweight system designed by Nottingham-based experts…
UK: The launch of a hydrogen-electric minibus in Slovakia marks an important milestone in delivering zero-emissions solutions for urban transit across Europe – as the most fuel efficient and quickest to refuel vehicle of its kind in the world.
Produced by Slovakian innovators Mobility & Innovation, the eight-metre, 21-passenger H2Bus features a complete alternative fuel system designed and supplied by Luxfer Gas Cylinders.
The system contains four of the company’s G-Stor® Pro cylinders alongside valves and regulators, provided in a ‘ready to assemble’ kit.
Thanks to Luxfer’s unique liner-processing technology, its cylinders are among the highest-capacity, fastest to refill and lightest Type 3 alternative fuel cylinders in the world, making them ideal for transit buses, light, medium and heavy-duty trucks, refuse vehicles and bulk gas transportation modules.
The system was developed by experts at Luxfer Gas Cylinders’ Alternative Fuel systems site in Nottingham, working alongside worldwide partners to deliver the project in just nine months – around three times quicker than standard clean bus builds.
Requiring just 10.5 kilograms of hydrogen to achieve more than 400 kilometres of range, the H2Bus contains a hydrogen fuel cell system and electric motor. To maintain optimum fuel efficiency, the weight of all components was minimised, and it was designed to deliver the fastest re-fueling of any equivalent bus on the market.
The minibus will now journey across Slovakia, Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, proving the viability of the technology, with the goal of securing commercial orders.
Luxfer’s European Business Development Manager, Jim Gregory, joined the Bratislava launch. Addressing the 50-plus attendees, which included the Minister for the Economy, industry and media, he said: “This project was designed, built, tested and homologated in much less than one year, in collaboration with a dynamic team of engineers and suppliers from seven different European countries – all despite the huge limitations that COVID caused on travel and logistics.
“We’re extremely proud to see the H2Bus come to fruition – this is significant in helping many more bus operators and governments become another step closer to achieving their zero emissions targets.”
Janos Onodi, Director, Mobility & Innovation, added: “Working with Luxfer was vital to the success of the project. Their experience in designing hydrogen vehicles gave us the security of knowing we were getting a state of the art and safe design. When pressure came on the timing program their young and dynamic engineering team always stepped up to ensure things were ready on time.”
Luxfer has impressive expertise in the alternative fuel sector, being a key partner in the design and delivery of a raft of industry-first transport projects, including the world’s first commercially produced hydrogen trucks, the UK’s first hydrogen-powered train and the world’s first hydrogen double decker buses, which are in operation across Aberdeen, London and Northern Ireland.
One of the world’s largest manufacturers of lightweight high pressure cylinders, Luxfer Gas Cylinders is a trusted partner to deliver bespoke alternative fuel solutions, and is a member of the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) and the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UKHFCA).