CaetanoBus landed its largest hydrogen bus order so far in Barcelona. A contract for eight fuel cell buses Caetano H2.City Gold has been officially awarded today, 23 September 2020, from the municipal public transport operator TMB Barcelona. The information is reported on the platform for public contracts of Generalitat de Catalunya. Previously an order for two units of the vehicles was secured in Germany.

What is also interesting is that three bids were submitted: beyond CaetanoBus and Solaris, an offer was presented by Hyzon Motors Europe B.V. / Holthausen Clean Technology B.V. This latter bid was excluded because «The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) has yet to be presented».

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Hyzon Motors, towards the fuel cell bus field

Hyzon Motors has been officially launched in mid-March 2020, and follows the experience developed from Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies. Announced as a company specialized in hydrogen heavy-duty vehicles based in New York State, Hyzon said that series production of its vehicles (trucks and buses) is to begin late this year. On April 4th Hyzon Motors’ CEO George Gu stated on Linkedin that «Hyzon Motors Inc. announces that 1,000 units 40FT/12M fuel cell bus MOU (Memorandum of Understaing) was signed with a client under confidentiality. Target to deliver the first 50 units in about 12 months after formal contract».

CaetanoBus, the first order for the hydrogen bus

The order awarded to CaetanoBus is worth 6.534.000 euros (IVA included). Three bids were submitted to the fuel cell bus tender issued by TMB Barcelona.

Unveiled at Busworld 2019, the CaetanoBus H2.City Gold is available in 10.7 or 12 meter version, LHD and RHD variants. Hydrogen tanks and the fuel cell stack are stored on the vehicle’s roof, to optimize the interior space.

Thanks to the fast refuelling time, of less than 9 minutes, and the high autonomy of the vehicle, city operations are not compromised. H2.City Gold has a range of 400 km on a single refill. A 60 kW Toyota fuel cell is used in this vehicle, which also stands out for its electric motor with a rated power of 180 kW, supplied by Siemens. Axles are by ZF. A small LTO battery is also carried on the bus.

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TMB Barcelona, a tender for fuel cell buses

TMB has launched a tender to purchase its first hydrogen buses after the experiment of the CUTE project in 2003-2005. Eight 12-meter fuel cell buses will land in Barcelona in November 2021 and are expected to start service at the beginning of 2022. The vehicles will be supplied with hydrogen from the charging plant, created through the agreement between Zona Franca Consortium (CZFB) and Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), with an estimated consumption of 160 kilos per day.

The acquisition of the 8 hydrogen vehicles is backed by the European JIVE 2 programme.

Fuel cell buses for TMB, a strategic option

The commitment to hydrogen forms part of the strategic option of TMB towards modernization and greening of its bus fleet, always under the criteria of green purchasing and progressive electrification, the company points out. Last February, a supply of 23 articulated electric vehicles was secured. Between end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 the public transport company rolled out three articulated electric buses from Solaris and four units of ie tram supplied by Irizar. Investment will continue in successive years (115 millions are estimated in the years 2019-2021), for the purchase of electric and hybrid buses, plus the corresponding charging infrastructure.