The U.K. Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a 5-year, €5 billion (US$5.65 billion) plan to enhance bus and bicycle infrastructure in the country – including new routes, expanded bus lanes, more affordable fares together with deployment of at least 4,000 zero-emission buses.
Full details of the bus funding program, with its focus on improving and increasing green mobility journeys, is expected to be announced in a National Bus Strategy to be published later in 2020.
Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, “As I noted on our recent Q4 and full year 2019 results conference call, the European market presents a tremendous opportunity for deployment of fuel cell-powered Heavy- and Medium-Duty Motive applications, including buses, commercial trucks, trains and marine vessels. This is particularly true for use cases requiring extended range, rapid refueling and heavy payload, which includes many urban transit buses.”
Mr. MacEwen continued, “Ballard is currently powering 56 Fuel Cell Electric Buses, or FCEBs, in Europe and received orders for a further 67 fuel cell modules in 2019 to power buses in London, Aberdeen, Bolzano, Italy, and Groningen, the Netherlands. However, the bold plan announced this week by the U.K. Department for Transport represents a significant leading edge of the anticipated rapid growth in zero-emission fuel cell-powered buses as we move forward in Europe. There is a consensus that fuel cells are a reliable and high-performance zero-emission solution – we are now focused on growing deployments of FCEBs and other Heavy- and Medium-Duty vehicles in Europe and other key markets.”
The European Commission’s Clean Vehicle Directive (CVD) (https://ec.europa.eu/transport/home_en) will be one of the drivers for the adoption of zero-emission buses across Europe. The CVD states that public authorities should procure minimum numbers of zero-emission buses and has set minimum targets that vary in the following ranges for each EU member:
- 24%-to-45% of bus purchases in the 2021-25 timeframe should be clean vehicles; and
- 33%-to-65% of bus purchases in the 2026-30 timeframe should be clean vehicles.
In addition, 50% of the minimum target for each country must be fulfilled by procuring zero-emission buses, including fuel cell buses, defined as a vehicle emitting less than 1g CO2/kWh or less than 1g CO2/km.
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems’ (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) vision is to deliver fuel cell power for a sustainable planet. Ballard zero-emission PEM fuel cells are enabling electrification of mobility, including buses, commercial trucks, trains, marine vessels, passenger cars, forklift trucks and UAVs. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.