Reußenköge / Niebüll–100 percent emission-free and a lot of comfort: the two fuel cell buses of the hydrogen pioneering project eFarm were handed over to their new owner today in Niebüll – Autokraft GmbH, a subsidiary of DB Regio Bus Nord.
They should do their service from May 20th in the regular service in North Frisia. This means that the last phase of the eFarm project initiated by GP JOULE has also been put into practice. The buses are refueled at the two filling stations in Niebüll and Husum, which are part of the project, with climate-neutral hydrogen generated with regional wind power. One tank of fuel is enough for 400 kilometers. This corresponds to a regular operating day in regular service, so that the buses can be used flexibly on 50 bus connections around Niebüll and Husum.
Model for regional added value through the energy transition
“Thanks to eFarm, we are the first bus company in Germany to be able to refuel not only with climate-neutral but also regional hydrogen. We are looking forward to the experience that we will gain with fuel cell technology in daily use, because it is our declared goal to promote alternative drives in Schleswig-Holstein’s local public transport, ”says Daniel Marx, who is the chairman of the regional management of DB Regio Bus Nord is responsible for Autokraft GmbH. “The eFarm project in the North Friesland district is creating a blueprint for sustainable mobility that more and more regions across Germany are following,” adds District Administrator Florian Lorenzen. “With the handover of the two buses, we are also putting the final stage of the eFarm project into practice. We have shown
Comfortable, clean and safe
The two two-door low-floor buses of the type “H2.City Gold” come from the Portuguese manufacturer CaetanoBus. “GP JOULE is developing one of the largest hydrogen mobility concepts in Germany. We are very proud that Caetano is part of this initiative with the H2.City Gold and is helping to create a greener future for all of us, ”says Kohei Umeno, Commercial Director of CaetanoBus. Toyota’s hydrogen tanks, batteries and fuel cell system are placed on the roof of the buses. The fact that the buses travel almost noiselessly and that nothing but steam comes out of the exhaust is particularly appreciated in the climatic health resort of Niebüll. But the hydrogen bus with its emission-free drive is not only beneficial for the environment. It also offers passengers a very spacious interior and ergonomic seats.
The joint hydrogen project eFarm was initiated by GP JOULE in 2017. In the meantime, 20 regional shareholders are involved, including community wind and solar parks and municipal utilities. In the course of the project, a local hydrogen infrastructure was created, which ranges from generation through electrolysis and distribution to the use of fleets in fuel cell vehicles. The project includes five electrolysis sites near existing wind farms, two hydrogen filling stations, two fuel cell buses and so far thirty fuel cell cars. Expressions of interest have already been received for the purchase of around 100 more vehicles. The waste heat generated by the electrolysers is used to heat buildings.
Autokraft GmbH, headquartered in Hamburg, is a subsidiary of DB Regio AG. With over 900 employees, it is one of the largest bus companies in Schleswig-Holstein. Autokraft has been operating most of the bus traffic in the North Friesland district from its locations in Niebüll, Husum, Garding and Sankt-Peter-Ording since 2019. Around 100 buses are in use for this.
Deutsche Bahn has set itself the goal of becoming a climate-neutral company by 2050 and doing without conventional diesel on the way there. To do this, it is examining various options for alternative drives and fuels. The advanced TrainLab test train is already running on an eco-diesel that reduces CO2 emissions by 90 percent. The use of eco-diesel is also planned in regional transport, to which up to 33 percent eco-fuels are added.
Thanks to new telematics technology and training courses on sustainable driving, DB Regio will also save around 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year on trains and buses. This corresponds to the annual heating and electricity consumption of a medium-sized German city.
CaetanoBus, based in Vila Nova de Gaia, is the leading bus manufacturer in Portugal and belongs to the Salvador Caetano Group and Mitsui & Co. The company produces vehicles for city and airport traffic, mainly for export and since 2010 with a focus on electromobility solutions.
About GP JOULE
Founded in 2009 with the conviction that 100% renewable energy supply is feasible, GP JOULE is today a system provider for integrated energy solutions from sun, wind and biomass as well as a partner at the supply level for electricity, heat, hydrogen and electric mobility. As a pioneer in sector coupling, the medium-sized corporate group employs over 350 people in Germany, Europe and North America. GP JOULE is the winner of the Schleswig-Holstein Economic Environment Prize 2019.