After ten hydrogen fuel cell buses went into operation in Wuppertal a few days ago, the city of Hürth is also converting all of its public transport to hydrogen fuel cell buses.
Regionalverkehr Köln (RVK) is currently using five new A330 FC fuel cell buses from Van Hool as well as a pre-series vehicle from the Belgian manufacturer in Hürth. Another five H2 buses are scheduled for delivery in July.
With ten new buses, Hürth will soon have one of the largest urban hydrogen-powered bus fleets in Europe. On Thursday, Dirk Breuer (Mayor of the City of Hürth), Stefan Welsch (Board Member of Stadtwerke Hürth) and Carsten Bußjaeger (Authorized Signatory and Head of Traffic at Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH) presented the new vehicles in front of the Hürth City Hall.
“Hürth has one of the largest, if not the largest, hydrogen-powered urban bus fleets in Europe in summer!” Said Mayor Dirk Breuer at the press meeting. “The recently adopted national hydrogen strategy would not exist without pioneers who have seen and tested the value of this alternative drive,” said the mayor.
Fuel cell hybrid buses: pollution-free and low-noise
“Hydrogen buses are absolutely free of pollutants during operation. They just emit water vapor, ”explains Carsten Bußjaeger, traffic manager and authorized representative at RVK. “Their electric motor also makes them very quiet.” Hydrogen is a by-product of the chemical industry. Hürth as the central location of the chemical industry was therefore the ideal starting point for the test operation of the first two fuel cell hybrid buses of the prototype “Phileas” in 2011.
“The use of the Phileas from 2011 was a pioneering decision for Hürth. The construction and use of this prototype came about as a result of a research project between the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands, ”reports Stefan Welsch, board member of Stadtwerke Hürth.
After three years, more fuel cell hybrid buses were added, pre-series vehicles from the Belgian manufacturer van Hool. The predominantly trouble-free use and the suitability of the drive for environmentally-oriented mobility convinced and led to the complete conversion of the bus fleet in city traffic from Hürth.
10 new buses from the Belgian manufacturer Van Hool
Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK) – the city’s operational partner and municipal utility – is currently using five of the new A330 FC fuel cell hybrid buses and a pre-series vehicle from van Hool in Hürth. “Another five buses will be delivered in July and will also be integrated into Hürth city traffic. The new buses will then be used on all Hürther lines, ”said Carsten Bußjaeger. The fuel cell hybrid buses are also refueled at the hydrogen filling station in the Hürth-Knapsack chemical park. Up to 12 buses can now be filled here every day after the gas station was upgraded in 2019. In order to be able to implement the complete fleet changeover, a second filling station is currently being planned.