It is 12 meters long, has seats for over 80 passengers and produces zero emissions while driving: On Thursday, the first of a total of 12 hydrogen battery buses for public transport was presented.
Mobility Councilor Daniel Alfreider, SASA President Francesco Morandi, SASA Director Petra Piffer, President of the Hydrogen Center Dieter Theiner and Director Gabriella Kerschbaumer have taken a close look at the new hydrogen battery bus in Bolzano.
The bus is a prototype of the 12 new hydrogen fuel cell buses that the country is buying. At the end of 2020, the in-house company “Städtischer Autobus Service AG” (SASA) is to put the buses into operation. The new fleet will be co-financed by 30 percent through the EU project JIVE. For the purchase of another 18 buses, a call for tenders is being planned.
Thus, the country continues to invest in emission-free vehicles for public transport. “Only a functioning public transport is a real alternative to private transport. Vehicles should now be as sustainable as possible, given the technological possibilities. Because mobility consumes a great deal of energy, we can tap into clean energy with new technology, save energy, and therefore invest in these technologies. For example, the busy Brenner Route with emission-free vehicles can become a green corridor, “emphasized Alfreider.
South Tyrol as part of the European mobility network
“South Tyrol has been and continues to be involved in successful EU projects on several occasions, passing on its know-how and, as such, is part of a very active European network committed to the mobility of the future with quiet and clean vehicles,” emphasized Alfreider. He was proud of how the individual projects complement each other.
According to the Provincial Council, the new buses can be refueled in Bolzano or in Merano. As part of the LIFE alps project, a hydrogen refueling station and several rapid charging stations will be installed at the Merano depot. “Thus, not only the state capital, but also other parts of the country gradually emissions-free, healthier and more liveable,” said Alfreider.
SASA President Morandi also said: “Our goal as an in-house company is efficient, sustainable public transport for Bolzano, Meran and Laives”. While emission-free buses are currently more expensive, they would save a significant amount of harmful emissions and noise, making them a valuable investment in people’s health, Morandi said. “Every euro invested in citizens’ health is well-invested in our opinion. That is why it is important for us as SASA together with the state government to focus on sustainable forms of propulsion, “said Morandi.