Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) has launched a multi week, in-service, trial of a fuel cell electric bus in the Dublin area.
This bus, powered by a 60KW Toyota fuel cell stack, will be the first ever Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) put into public service operation on the Island of Ireland.
It will be operated in conjunction with the Department of Transport and used on different routes by CIÉ Group bus companies Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus, Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport over a number of weeks in November and December.
The bus will however carry a limited passengers due to the current Covid restrictions.
The zero emissions Caetano ‘H2.CityGold’ pre-production bus will run on green hydrogen (H2) produced in Dublin by BOC Gases Ireland Ltd using renewable electricity and water.
HMI tells us that the fuel cell electric bus is refuelled in minutes, similar to a conventional bus and its electric motive power is obtained when the Hydrogen molecules from its fuel are combined with Oxygen molecules from the air in the Fuel Cell.
As part of HMI’s roadmap for hydrogen deployment, this collaborative trial will extend from early November to mid-December giving real in-use information on the practical operation of the technology in varying weather, usage, and traffic conditions. HMI member ESB, will provide the green electricity used to produce the Hydrogen fuel for the trial. The only output from the vehicle is water.
Steve Tormey, chief executive of Toyota Ireland told CVWorkshop.ie: “We in Toyota are really excited about Ireland’s first step into Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles. As the developer and provider of the fuel cell in the Caetano Bus we have a huge belief in this highly innovative environmental mobility solution which Toyota has been investing in the development of since 1996 towards ensuring a better future for our planet.
“I am delighted to be able to confirm the total commitment of Toyota Ireland to be in the forefront of making the plans contained in the Hydrogen Mobility Project a reality.”
HMI chairman Mark Teevan (Toyota Ireland) added: “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.
“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.”
This announcement will be followed early next year by a National Transport Authority trial involving a number of double decker FCEV buses.
Meanwhile in Northern Ireland HMI member Energia will shortly commence the production of H2 for road transport at a windfarm in Co. Antrim which will be used as fuel for FCEV buses in Belfast.