Trials of hydrogen-powered bus begin in Dublin

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks & Transport Eamon Ryan and Steve Tormey, HMI & Toyota Ireland
Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks & Transport Eamon Ryan and Steve Tormey, HMI & Toyota Ireland

Pre-production bus recharges in minutes, leaves behind only water

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10 November 2020 | 0

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) has begun trialling a fuel cell electric bus in the Dublin area. This bus, powered by a 60KW Toyota fuel cell stack, will be the first ever Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) put into public service operation on the island of Ireland. The vehicle in this first trial will be operated by Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus, Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport through November and December, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

The zero emissions Caetano ‘H2.CityGold’ pre-production bus will run on green hydrogen (H2) produced in Dublin by BOC Gases Ireland using renewable electricity and water. The fuel cell electric bus is refuelled in minutes, similar to a conventional bus and its electric motive power is obtained when the Hydrogen molecules from its fuel are combined with Oxygen molecules from the air in the fuel cell. The only output from the vehicle is water.

As part of HMI’s roadmap for hydrogen deployment, the trial will give in-use information on how the vehicle will manage varying weather, usage, and traffic conditions. ESB, a HMI member, will provide the green electricity used to produce the hydrogen fuel for the trial.

 

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HMI chairman Mark Teevan from Toyota Ireland said: “This should be viewed as an important event, not because it’s the first H2 bus on the road, but because it is a first step into the future for Ireland, enabling us to begin to envisage the practical solutions that will allow us to fully decarbonise road transport.

“We are all very conscious of the environmental challenge we face in meeting our 2030 targets and the need to find zero-emissions solutions that will satisfy the varying needs of different users [such as] public transport, haulage, van delivery, taxi or private car.

“FCEV’s are electric vehicles, providing specific benefits that include very quick refuelling, long range, and a particular suitability for heavy and long-distance requirements. We are delighted that Dublin has been selected to host the very first trial of the Caetano RHD prototype fuel cell bus.”

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan added: “The trial will provide us with real world insight into the operation, refuelling and environmental impact of this innovative technology as well as enabling comparisons with the previously tested bus technologies.  

“Moving our urban bus fleet to cleaner and greener technologies is essential if we are to further reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport system and limit air pollutant emissions in our cities. 

“Under the Government’s national development plan, Ireland has committed to stop buying diesel-only urban buses and to transition to lower-emission alternatives.”

If successful, this test will be followed early next year by a National Transport Authority trial involving double decker FCEV buses, while in Northern Ireland HMI member Energia will commence the production of H2 for road transport at a windfarm in Co Antrim to be used as fuel for FCEV buses in Belfast.

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