Heilbronn district in Germany opts for hydrogen

Heilbronn district in Germany opts for hydrogen
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Solaris presented a hydrogen-powered bus, the Urbino 12 hydrogen in Neuenstadt am Kocher, Germany. Omnibus-Verkehr Ruoff GmbH (OVR), part of the Transdev Group, that manages public transport in the city set its hopes on innovation and is planning to use “green hydrogen” produced in an environmentally friendly way to fuel public transport.

It is an opportunity for the operator (Omnibus-Verkehr Ruoff GmbH (OVR)) which is part of the Transdev Group to become a pioneer of zero-emission public transport in the Heilbron region. Hydrogen is to be produced in an environmentally friendly way within the “H2 Impulse” project and then used as zero-emission fuel for fuelling urban buses. The regional component is a decisive factor in the project: hydrogen is produced using wind energy in the German Aviation and Space Hub (DLR), situated in nearby Hardthäuser Wald. Then it is either used locally or transmitted to regional users, i.e. in Neuenstadt. Therefore the environmental balance of harmful emissions from production through the end user is close to zero.

Within the project at the invitation of OVR Solaris presented an innovative bus, the Urbino 12 hydrogen, to project participants representing the County of Heilbronn, the city of Neustadt am Kocher, the municipalities of Hardthausen, Langenbrettach and Wirtschaftsfördergesellschaft Raum Heilbronn (WfG, an industrial development agency operating in the Heilbronn region). The Solaris product is an example of a vehicle successfully applying hydrogen technology. In order to demonstrate how reliable and useful hydrogen is in every day transport, the hydrogen bus operated the “KocherShuttle” express-line from Neuenstadt to Heilbronn.

A hydrogen fuel cell installed in the Urbino 12 hydrogen acts as a micro-power-plant producing energy and fuelling the vehicle directly. It’s a zero-emission bus, only water and heat are the by-products of the chemical reaction in the cell, so a cleaner means of transport would be hard to find.

European operators committed to green transformation in urban transport have expressed high interest in the Solaris hydrogen bus since its launch in 2019. According to market forecasts, by 2030 hydrogen-fuelled buses will be an important part of the bus fleet in Europe. The producer’s order portfolio also reflects this tendency – operators from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden are among the clients who have already bought more than 80 Urbino hydrogen buses.

Photos: OVR

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Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. is one of the leading European bus and trolleybus manufacturers. Benefiting from 25 years of experience and having manufactured over 20,000 vehicles, Solaris affects the quality of city transport in hundreds of cities across Europe every day. Thinking of the future, the firm is setting new standards by dynamically developing its products, in particular in the electromobility sector. Solaris electric buses, trolleybuses and hydrogen buses are cutting-edge solutions for zero emission public transport. Solaris products have been repeatedly awarded for quality and innovation. The Solaris Urbino 12 electric won the prestigious European "Bus of the Year 2017" competition. In September 2018 Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. joined CAF Group.

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Mateusz Figaszewski

E-mobility Development & Market Intelligence Director

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