Bratislava is going to deploy Slovakia’s first fuel cell bus fleet. DPB (that stands for Dopravný Podnik Bratislava), the capital’s public transport operator, has received approval for its call for funding addressed at the government. The news is reported on The Slovak Spectator.

Slovakia to deploy Solaris fuel cell bus

The local media reports that “DPB plans to order the first four hydrogen buses from the Polish company Solaris Bus & Coach. The company successfully bid €24.4 million to supply 40 buses. The first four buses could start operating in Bratislava by next autumn”. According to these information, the model would be the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen, fuelled with power generated by a 70 kW fuel cell. Five hydrogen tanks mounted on the roof, and located longitudinally above the vehicle first axle, ensure a capacity of 312 liters each, i.e. 1,560 liters totally, equal to approximately 37 kg.

Refueling follows a rate of 6 kg per minute: the time necessary to fill up the tank is just over six minutes. Which, of course, also depends on the technological level of the refueling system. The refill nozzle is located on the right side, close to the front door. The bus has a range of around 350 kilometres, manufacturer says.

The hydrogen Urbino has a structure substantially similar to that of the battery-electric version. A crucial difference: the hydrogen tanks on the roof and the already-mentioned fuel cell module. Drive system? The  electric axle with two 125 kW motors, in the case of the hydrogen vehicle, is the only choice.

The size of the storage modules also distinguishes the hydrogen-powered Urbino from the battery-powered one. Around 30 kWh batteries are mounted on the fuel cell Urbino in the name of the Solaris High Power battery kind, the one designed for in-line recharging by virtue of its accentuated maximum charging power.

One of the latest contract for the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen was signed in Upper Bavaria, with 10 vehicles scheduled for delivery by March next year, while the first fuel cell bus fleet with Solaris’ brand was launched in Bolzano, Italy, in May 2021 (the delivery of the 12 vehicles followed the very first order ever secured by Solaris for its fuel cell bus, signed in June 2019 just a few days after the world premiere at UITP Summit in Stockholm). Largest order so far? 20 models commissioned in the Netherlands by Connexxion, which also belongs to Transdev group.

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