Hydrogen buses are all over Busworld 2023

hydrogen Busworld - Caetano

A number of hydrogen-powered buses and minibuses are on show at the Busworld exhibition in Brussels. Some newcomers have joined the list of traditional manufacturers.

Hydrogen buses in numbers at Busworld 2023

Apart from a few versions running on Blue Diesel (HVO*) or natural gas, the vast majority of buses on show at Brussel Expo are zero-emission. In fact, battery electric and hydrogen (fuel cells and, to a very limited extent, combustion engines) complement each other perfectly. As you might expect, the traditional players are there, including the French Safra (with the Hycity), Solaris from Poland (which boasts an order book of 600 Urbino 18 Hydrogen buses, 140 of which are already on the road), and the Portuguese Caetano. Iveco is here as well. The Italian manufacturer collaborated with Hyundai to present the EWay-H2: a 12 m bus with a range of 450 km. Among the bus manufacturers, Mercedes will be exhibiting the Citaro Fuel Cell.

Among the other manufacturers, Otokar from Turkey will be presenting the Kent C Hydrogen: a 12 m bus that can carry 82 passengers and packs 38 kg of hydrogen in 5 tanks. Another Turkish, Karsan, is presenting the e-Ata Hydrogen, which complements the electric range with its 70 kW fuel cell. Among the newcomers is German start-up Arthur Bus, whose 12-metre Arthur H2 Zero bus boasts a range of 450 km, thanks to a particularly economical fuel cell that consumes less than 6 kg of hydrogen/100 km.
More surprisingly, Slovak Rosero is presenting a hydrogen-powered minibus. Based on an Iveco Daily chassis, it packs a 45 kW fuel cell and claims to consume 3.3 kg of hydrogen per 100 km. Built in Slovakia, it packs 2 x 4.6 kg at a pressure of 350 bar and 6 x 0.83 kg at a pressure of just 25 bar.

The first hydrogen coaches arrive

Irizar is also presenting the i6S Efficient Hydrogen. In its communication, the Spanish manufacturer states that this is “the first zero-emission H2 coach in Europe.” It has been developed in collaboration with unnamed partners. It claims a range of up to 1000 km and a refuelling time of around 20 minutes. In addition, it can operate in 100% electric mode at specific times, if required. The future range of hydrogen-powered vehicles, which currently includes the Irizar i6S Efficient and Irizar i4 models, will feature substantial improvements over the first version presented at Busworld, including greater boot and passenger capacity, greater range and lower weight.

We don’t know who was first, but Caetano is also investing in hydrogen-powered coaches. It has collaborated with Turkish manufacturer Temsa on a vehicle that will be launched in 2024. Thanks to Toyota’s fuel cell, used as a range extender, the vehicle can travel up to 1,000 km. It should be noted that this electric-hydrogen bus can be refuelled at a pressure of 350 or 700 bars.

The players of the hydrogen ecosystem answered the call

By a happy accident, Symbio and Plastic Omnium are facing each other. The former is presenting its fuel cell, while the latter is showcasing all its solutions (fuel cell with EKPO and hydrogen tanks). In the aisles, we spotted Bosch and Cummins. But the only company promoting hydrogen engines at a show that is very much focused on fuel cells is Daf. On its booth, it is showing its global approach, ranging from bio diesel to hydrogen (fuel cells and H2 engines).

*Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils (HVO)

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King 

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About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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