Hamburg, Germany | December 23, 2014 — The first two buses powered by Ballard’s prototype FCvelocity®-HD7 fuel cell power module have been presented to Hamburger Hochbahn AG – transit operator for the City of Hamburg, Germany – and will now be part of an operations trial. The buses are based on a new articulated electric bus platform designed by Solaris Bus and Coach (Solaris), incorporating Ballard fuel cell modules as range extenders, in combination with batteries. We had announced the Equipment Supply Agreement to provide these FCvelocity®-HD7 modules to Solaris at the beginning of this year.
The two Solaris buses are part of a trial and evaluation of alternative drive technologies, being undertaken by the City of Hamburg. Buses that use alternative drive technologies will be deployed along a single route by Hamburger Hochbahn, in order to compare performance of each technology under the same operating conditions. Two different fuel cell hybrid bus designs – including the Solaris design – as well as a plug-in hybrid bus platform, will be trialed beginning in January 2015.
Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, “We are very pleased to see these initial Ballard-powered Solaris buses participate in the Hamburg trial program, particularly since they are the first to incorporate our FCvelocity®-HD7 product. This next-generation power module delivers improvements in durability, performance and overall value.”
The buses participating in the trial were unveiled on December 18th, 2014 at an event held at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. Attendees included Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Rainer Bomba, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Olaf Scholz, Mayor of the City of Hamburg. The City of Hamburg has set a goal of eliminating the purchase of diesel buses by the year 2020 and this trial is fully funded by the German government, further illustrating the commitment to investment in clean transportation alternatives.
Ballard’s current generation fuel cell power module – the FCvelocity®-HD6 – has been delivering a high level of performance in European buses. With the addition of these two articulated buses in Hamburg – powered by the FCvelocity®-HD7 – a total of 42 buses operating in Europe will be powered by Ballard fuel cell modules, representing about 80% of all European fuel cell buses.
Ballard’s next-generation FCvelocity®-HD7 fuel cell power module features reduced parts count – including fewer moving parts – an integrated air compressor and coolant pump along with reduced parasitic load. This product will be commercially available in Q1 2015.