Large scale hydrogen refuelling economically viable

FCH JU project NewBusFuel has just finished and its conclusions demonstrate that hydrogen refueling in large-scale bus depots is not only technically feasible, it is also commercially viable.

Hydrogen as a fuel for buses and other vehicles is considered as one of the best options for removing emissions of both air pollutants and carbon dioxide from transport. The technology is developing fast and we have seen early deployment of small fleets of buses and cars. One of the big pending questions has been how well this technology could scale up to meet the demands of mass scale transportation. This is particularly acute for buses, where busy bus depots require large quantities of fuel and there has been concern on how easily the technology can be scaled up.

FCH JU project NewBusFuel's findings  have been published today and provide a definitive answer to this. The answer is clear - Large scale hydrogen refueling is both commercially and technically feasible. Whilst work is required to develop and mature the technology and associated codes and standards, there are no show-stopping barriers preventing the large scale uptake of the technology.

The project was based on a consortium of 10 of Europe’s leading technology providers of hydrogen production and refuelling equipment. These industry players worked with 12 bus operators in Europe to develop bespoke designs for large scale refueling systems for their bus depots. In each location, a suitable design was developed in consultation with the bus operators and the local regulators. As a result, a wide range of engineering solutions was developed, involving different supply modes (liquid/gaseous trailer delivery and on-site production from electrolysis and methane reformation) covering hydrogen demands between 1,000 and 5,000kg per day, corresponding to depots of 50-260 hydrogen buses. Each of these technical solutions was able to meet the original design requirements defined within the case studies, demonstrating that hydrogen refueling at these large scales can be affordable and reliable.

Read the full press release about the project findings here

Reports from NewBusFuel can be found on the project website here

Discover project NewBusFuel here

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