Five years of hydrogen-powered travel
Press release, 8 September 2016
At the end of the year, PostBus will bring the project involving five fuel cell Postbuses in the region of Brugg to an end. PostBus has proven that everyday operation of routes with fuel cell vehicles is possible. But what does the future hold for the hydrogen filling station in Brugg?
PostBus has been driving fuel cell Postbuses in the Brugg region for almost five years now. The hydrogen-powered Postbuses operate on routes every day. PostBus was part of the European project entitled Clean Hydrogen in European Cities (CHIC), which deployed five emission-free vehicles. The project in Brugg officially finishes at the end of the year and PostBus is not extending the pilot operation. Technically it would be possible to continue operation without any problems. However, PostBus does not expect an extension of the project to provide further insight into technical issues or the vehicles’ operation.
Quiet and smooth ride
PostBus is very upbeat about the project. The fuel cell Postbuses are popular among passengers and drivers. They attract attention for their quiet and smooth ride. The five Postbuses have covered a total of 1.2 million kilometres between them to date. PostBus has thus been able to cut 1,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Five years ago PostBus had a hydrogen filling station built specifically for the project in Brugg. This made it possible to generate the hydrogen needed to refuel the Postbuses on site. To do this, PostBus purchased electrical energy generated solely from renewable sources, proving that buses can be operated without the use of fossil fuels. It is not yet known how the filling station will be used once the project comes to an end. Initial talks have already been held but definite decisions have not yet been taken.
PostBus is watching the market
The end of the fuel cell project in Brugg does not mean that PostBus is definitively departing from hydrogen-based technology. However, the fact that the fuel cell Postbuses were not ready for series production did influence the decision to end the CHIC project upon expiry of the initially planned period. PostBus will continue to closely monitor developments in fuel cell technology,as one of its goals is to become independent of fossil fuels over the long term. Fuel cell technology therefore remains an option for the future. The experience of using diesel hybrid vehicles has been positive for the company. PostBus will also be testing two electric buses in the cantons of Berne and Obwalden from this winter.