RVK is strengthening its bus fleet in the Cologne area with 20 fuel cell buses from Solaris procured thanks to funding from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) awarded in 2022.

The order includes eleven articulated buses and nine 12-meter buses with hydrogen drive. It’s the fourth hydrogen buses ordered awarded by RVK to Solaris: first one in March 2020 for 15 units, then 31 in early 2023, last (but not least!) further 18 vehicles commissioned in September 2023.

Regionalverkehr Köln is going to deploy the vehicles by the end of April 2025, according to plans. The procurement is based on the funding decision issued by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) in spring 2022 to Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH for a total of 108 hydrogen-powered fuel cell hybrid buses by 2025.

108 hydrogen buses financed by the Federal government

The entire RVK project for the procurement of 108 fuel cell buses is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport with a total of 33,888,000.00 euros as part of the “Directive for the promotion of alternative drive systems for buses in passenger transport”. Part of the funding for this measure is being provided as part of the German Recovery and Resilience Plan (DARP) via the European Recovery and Resilience Facilities (ARF). The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ), RVK states.

Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. bidded in the tender and was awarded the contract for a total of 20 fixed and 20 optional hydrogen-powered fuel cell hybrid buses. The buses will be used on RVK routes in the greater Cologne/Bonn area and will greatly expand the existing fleet of 83 hydrogen-powered buses.

Three orders already for Solaris H2 buses

Further Solaris Urbino 18 Hydrogen articulated hydrogen buses, which were ordered last year as part of the subsidy programme (a third order with the Polish OEM was signed in September 2023), will also be added in the course of this year.

Marcel Frank, Managing Director of RVK, states: “Step by step, we are getting closer to our corporate goal of zero emissions. Because we addressed the topic of hydrogen with our public transport authorities and shareholders at such an early stage and always kept an eye on the infrastructure, as a large regional transport company we can now look back on a compact network in terms of hydrogen mobility.”

“The follow-up order of hydrogen-powered Solaris buses on this scale is a sign of the high esteem in which our products and our company are held. It is also a sign that the development towards innovative and emission-free local public transport is progressing rapidly. We are proud that RVK, as a pioneer of this development, has once again decided in favour of our vehicles and that our long-standing, trusting cooperation can thus be further strengthened,” said Christian Goll, Managing Director of Solaris Deutschland GmbH.

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