Friday 13 November 2020

Dublin Hydrogen Bus Trial

The first bus in Ireland to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell is set to enter service in Dublin as part of a trial.

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland, a national association “for the hydrogen community on the island of Ireland”, confirmed news of the trial which will see a hydrogen-powered bus travel on several Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus routes.

‘Hydrogen Mobility’ projects have begun around the world and are combining the efforts of industry and government to plan the introduction of fleets of vehicles and refuelling stations to raise the profile of hydrogen as a fuel and prove its viability.

In Ireland, initial hydrogen mobility discussions are occurring, but are at a very early stage.

Hydrogen differentiates itself more clearly from full battery electric vehicles when the weight of vehicles are heavier, so application of fuel cell technology for use in buses, trucks, trains and boats is progressing quickly.

For refuelling, pressurised hydrogen gas is pumped into a tank on board the vehicle which is combined in a fuel cell with oxygen to power an electric motor.

The resulting waste product emitted from the back of the car is just water vapour, unlike internal combustion engine vehicles.

The Caetano ‘H2.CityGold’ pre-production bus to be used in the Dublin trial will be powered by a 60kW Toyota fuel stack and will run on hydrogen produced in Dublin by BOC Gases Ireland using electricity and water.

The trial aims to examine how hydrogen buses perform in everyday conditions and in challenging winter weather.

The CaetanoBus bus will be operated on different routes by CIÉ Group bus companies Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus, as well as by Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport over a number of weeks in November and December.

As part of HMI’s roadmap for hydrogen deployment, the collaborative trial will extend from November to mid-December giving real in-use information on the practical operation of the technology in varying weather, usage, and traffic conditions.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the bus will carry a limited number of passengers.

Speaking at the launch of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus on the road, HMI Chairman Mark Teevan said:

“This should be viewed as an important event, not because it’s the first H2 bus on the road; but because it is a first step into the future for Ireland, enabling us to begin to envisage the practical solutions that will allow us to fully decarbonise road transport.

Abellio London are buying into the Caetano e.City Gold battery-electric single-deckers
which, up to the cantrail are identical to the fuel cell version

“We are all very conscious of the environmental challenge we face in meeting our 2030 targets and the need to find zero-emissions solutions that will satisfy the varying needs of different users; public transport, haulage, van delivery, taxi or private car.

“FCEV’s are Electric Vehicles, providing specific benefits that include very quick refuelling, long-range, and a particular suitability for heavy and long-distance requirements. We are delighted that Dublin has been selected to host the very first trial of the Caetano RHD prototype fuel cell bus.”