Solaris Bus & Coach and Dutch carrier Arriva Netherlands have signed an agreement for the delivery of 10 Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses. In accordance with the contract, the 12-metre hydrogen buses will be delivered to the province of Gelderland in the course of this year. Arriva will start driving them in December 2021 in the Achterhoek region and the cities Zutphen and Apeldoorn.
Gelderland is the largest province in the Netherlands, located in the centre-east of the country. Inhabitants of this 2-million strong region will soon travel on some of the most innovative and environmentally friendly buses available on the market. At the end of last year, the Provincial Executive of Gelderland announced that it was participating in the European JIVE2 program (Joint Initiative For Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe), which focuses on the promotion of emission-free public transport. The aim is to increase the number of hydrogen buses in public transport, inter alia through subsidies of € 148,000 per bus. Across Europe, this includes subsidies for 152 buses in 14 European regions. The ten 12-meter hydrogen-powered Solaris buses will replace the current diesel buses and will cover more than 1 million kilometers per year. The vehicles will be delivered to Gelderland by the end of 2021.
Solaris’s quiet and completely emission-free hydrogen buses are highly technologically-advanced vehicles. They are powered with energy produced in fuel cells, and the sole by-products of the chemical reaction that takes place there are heat and steam. Electric power generated in the process of reverse electrolysis is transferred directly to the driveline, consisting of an axle with electric motors. What is more, each bus will be fitted with an additional electric power storage facility, i.e. a Solaris High Power battery. The hydrogen needed to propel the Urbino 12 hydrogen bus will be stored in gaseous form in tanks with a total volume of 1560 litres, mounted on the bus’s roof.
Each bus ordered can carry up to 85 passengers, including 37 people seated. The vehicle will feature a door layout of 1-2-0. Passengers will benefit from a comfortable and safe ride due to air-conditioning throughout the vehicle, CCTV cameras and a modern passenger information system. They will also be able to recharge their mobile devices in USB ports available in the passenger compartment. For those with reduced mobility, a wheelchair bay and a ramp installed at the second door are envisaged.
A seat with climate control and an electrically heated windscreen will provide for a high standard of comfort for the driver. In addition, drivers will benefit from a series of automatic driver assistance systems, to aid their work and improve road safety. These include, among other things, the MirrorEye system that replaces conventional side mirrors with cameras, and the Mobileye Shield+ system of intelligent cameras monitoring the close surroundings of the vehicle, thus minimising the risk of colliding with pedestrians or cyclists. Drivers will be alerted to potential dangers with sound and visual signals.
The first Solaris buses made it to the Netherlands in 2017. Since then, more and more operators and decision makers have contacted Solaris Netherlands B.V. to enquire about purchasing state-of-the-art and eco-friendly transport solutions for their regions. Wil Willems, the Managing Director of Solaris Netherlands, boasts extensive experience in the sector. Over 8 years ago, following a successful 25-years career in tour and public transport, he decided to start his own modular conveyor system business. However, he never lost his affinity for the automotive industry, attentively following and keeping up with market innovations. This year, he assumed the post of Managing Director of Solaris Netherlands and as he notes himself, recently Dutch carriers have increasingly opted for emission-free vehicles as they understand that putting into service buses that contribute to cleaner air constitutes a great step forwards.
Driving on hydrogen is new for Arriva Netherlands. Thanks to its commitment to regular regional transport, Arriva will cover a record number of kilometers with newly purchased buses. It is a condition of the JIVE2 project that in the period December 2021 to December 2024 each hydrogen bus drives at least 50,000 kilometers per year. Arriva and the province of Gelderland are aiming at 100,000 kilometers per year. The carrier, with the support of the province, is also committed to building a hydrogen filling stations by December 2021.
It is not only the Netherlands where hydrogen buses made by Solaris are winning more and more clients. Since the launch of the Urbino 12 hydrogen in June 2019, Solaris has been awarded orders from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Sweden for 69 buses in total. Thanks to an extensive range of zero emission vehicles, starting with 8,9 meters long electric buses, through the recently introduced Urbino 15 LE electric, up to 24 meters long trolleybuses, Solaris became the European leader in e-mobility.
Solaris Netherlands B.V.
Wil Willems, Managing Director
M: 0031(0)6 23 58 69 14