A contract for the delivery of 20 Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses was signed by representatives of Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. and the operator Connexxion providing transport services for South Holland province.
South Holland (Dutch: Zuid-Holland) is the most populous province of The Netherlands, located in its western part, along the North Sea coast. Twenty hydrogen Solaris buses will be delivered to that destination by the end of 2021. Concurrently to the sales of buses, the parties signed a servicing agreement for 12 years.
“Our roads are becoming busier and busier. The health of our passengers and residents is of utmost importance to us, therefore putting into service of vehicles ensuring cleaner air is a great step forward“, says Floor Vermeulen, regional minister for Traffic and Transport in South Holland province.
“More and more municipal operators and decision makers opt for modern and emission-free transport solutions for their regions. The advantages of hydrogen as an energy carrier are indisputable. We are honoured to be able to participate with the operator Connexxion in these forward-looking decisions“, said Petros Spinaris, Deputy CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach S.A.
The vehicles will be operated by Connexxion, a branch of the Transdev Netherlands group which is one of the biggest operators and a leader in emission-free public transport in the Netherlands. As of the end of next year, the operator Connexxion will utilise hydrogen buses in Hoekse Waard and Goeree-Overflakkee regions.
The technologically advanced Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses use a set of fuel cells with a power of 70 kW. As for the hydrogen storing technology, the Urbino 12 hydrogen features cutting-edge solutions. The hydrogen is stored in gaseous form in 5 new-generation tanks placed on the bus roof. The set of type 4 composite tanks, placed longitudinally above the first axle of the vehicle, has a total volume of 1560 litres.
The energy needed to power the bus is produced in the fuel cell that is supplied with hydrogen stored in roof-mounted tanks. The hydrogen is turned into electricity, which, in turn, is feeding directly the bus driveline which consists of an axle with electric engines. The bus is also fitted with a Solaris High Power battery which acts as an additional electric power storage facility. The only by-products generated during the operation of the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen are heat and steam. Consequently, the vehicles do not generate any noxious substances whatsoever.
Pursuant to the specification, the hydrogen buses contain 37 seats. The passenger exchange will take place through doors, arranged in 1-2-0 configuration. Additional comfort to passengers will be provided in the new buses in the form of low entries, USB ports, air conditioning, readable information displays, and a wheelchair space. Better visibility for the driver will be ensured by a special camera system, replacing wing mirrors, projecting the image into screens inside the vehicle.
Refuelling of hydrogen buses will be possible in Heinenoord, in the vicinity of the bus depot. As hydrogen is becoming an increasingly popular energy source, private passenger cars will also be allowed to use the infrastructure. The initiative aims at promoting the exploitation of the environmental friendly hydrogen to a full extent. Hydrogen refilling takes little time and is quite convenient, not differing much in essence from the refilling of a vehicle with conventional fuels.
The first Solaris buses entered The Netherlands in 2017 when the operator Connexxion purchased and took over 40 articulated Solaris Urbino 18. A year later, in 2018, the operator placed two new orders for 4 Solaris Urbino 18 and 2 CNG-fuelled articulated buses.
Hydrogen buses made by Solaris are winning more and more customers. Last year, Italian operator SASA Bolzano placed an order with Solaris for 12 vehicles of that type, whereas only a few weeks ago the German operators WSW Mobil GmbH from Wuppertal and RVK from Cologne ordered a total of 25 hydrogen Solaris buses.
The JIVE and JIVE2 projects have received funding from the “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking“ under grant agreements no. 735582 and 779563. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.