Hofheim– The Hessian bus company Winzenhöler has been using the first fuel cell bus on an RMV line since spring – since autumn, the first hybrid articulated bus with turning assistant has been in use. The company has now been awarded the RMV Innovation Award 2019 for this commitment to climate protection and traffic safety.
Pioneering role in climate protection
The bus company is actively committed to testing and introducing emission-free mobility solutions and has been a member of the Hessen eV hydrogen and fuel cell initiative since 2016. There are 50 buses in the fleet – including 8 fuel cell buses. Through the use of vehicles with new technology, the company takes a pioneering role in climate protection in the RMV and accumulates valuable experience from which the entire network benefits.
Emission-free from Darmstadt in the Odenwald
Hesse’s first public transport regular fuel cell bus runs on the RMV lines X71 (Darmstadt – Groß-Umstadt-Wiebelsbach) and 671 (Darmstadt – Dieburg – Groß-Umstadt-Wiebelsbach – Babenhausen). Since May 2019, the hydrogen-powered fuel cell bus, from whose exhaust only pure water escapes, has traveled around 12,000 kilometers on regular routes. In doing so, he saved over ten tons of CO2 compared to a diesel bus of comparable size.
Between Darmstadt and Babenhausen, Winzenhöler also uses two other particularly economical Citaro hybrid articulated buses from Mercedes-Benz. An electric motor converts braking energy into electricity. This is temporarily stored in high-performance capacitors. The electric motor uses the stored electricity when starting up again, among other things, to support the diesel engine. According to the manufacturer, this reduces fuel consumption by up to 8.5 percent, which corresponds to a saving of around 450 liters of diesel with a total of approximately 12,000 kilometers traveled.
More safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and e-scooters In terms of safety, the two-hybrid articulated buses are equipped with a turning assistant. This multi-stage system helps the driver to recognize critical situations when turning. A vibration alarm integrated into the driver’s seat indicates acute collision risks with pedestrians, cyclists or e-scooters. Also on board is, according to the manufacturer, the world’s first active brake assist (preventive brake assist) for city buses, which is intended to avoid accidents with both stationary and moving objects. The system is based on radar sensors that detect the surroundings of the vehicle in a range of up to 250 meters.