Poznan's huge investment in hydrogen buses

Poznan's huge investment in hydrogen buses
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Investments of the city of Poznań in green public transport are gathering pace. The city’s public transport operator MPK Poznań has purchased 25 innovative hydrogen-fuelled buses that will be supplied by Solaris Bus & Coach. The tender was for 15 vehicles, but the carrier exercised its option of extending the order by another 10 buses. These cutting-edge, zero-emission hydrogen units will join the fleet of MPK in the second half of 2023. This is by far the largest order for hydrogen Urbino hydrogen buses.

Today, Poznań has joined the group of cities that deploy hydrogen technology in public transport. As a result of a tender, the local public transport operator purchased 25 hydrogen-fuelled Solaris buses. The public procurement was for 15 vehicles, however MPK exercised its option to purchase an additional 10 units. The investment has been subsidised as part of the “Green Public Transport” programme, launched by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

MPK Poznań already boasts 58 electric Solaris buses, which account for nearly 20% of its fleet. 25 Urbino 12 hydrogen buses will join Poznań’s zero-emission fleet in the second half of 2023.

“Poznań is investing in clean technologies, in innovation and in the future. This huge order puts the carrier among the most modern public transport operators in Europe, those that are focused first and foremost on clean air in cities and improving the quality of life for the next generation of their residents. The hydrogen Urbino 12 hydrogen emits only water vapor. Soon, the advantages and comfort of traveling by hydrogen Solaris will be available to Poznan residents,” Javier Calleja said during the signing of the contract.

“This will be an absolute novelty in the fleet of carrier MPK Poznań. We hold great expectations with regard to these vehicles and I strongly believe that they will successfully play their part. What is more, the purchase brings us closer to meeting e-mobility standards imposed on us. We need 30% of our fleet to be zero-emission in 2028. Now zero-emission vehicles make up 18% of our fleet, but after the delivery of the hydrogen buses in question, this number will rise to about 25%, as alongside the supply of zero-emission vehicles, those meeting the lowest emission standards are decommissioned”, said Krzysztof Dostatni, CEO of MPK Poznań.

“Public transport in Poznań is entering the hydrogen age. Soon, the fleet of carrier MPK Poznań will be joined by e-buses with a hydrogen fuel cell that acts as a “power plant” aboard the bus. This is a historic moment for the city’s public transport which is becoming increasingly environmentally friendly. At the same time, this marks another important step on the path to climate neutrality which we are striving to achieve consistently by implementing and supporting green measures and by promoting environmentally friendly attitudes among the residents of our city”, said Jacek Jaśkowiak, Mayor of Poznań.

The Urbino 12 hydrogen model, ordered by MPK Poznań, is fuelled solely with hydrogen converted to electricity in the fuel cell. The fuel cell acts as a miniature power plant aboard the vehicle drawing fuel from hydrogen tanks located on the roof. The chemical reaction that takes place in the fuel cell is extremely clean, as its only by-products are water and heat. The vehicle is thus locally absolutely emission-free. With all the advantages of the electric propulsion system, hydrogen buses stand out due to their long range on a single refill and the short refuelling time. In practice, the bus can cover at least 350 km with full tanks and their refuelling takes about 10 minutes, depending on the infrastructure.

The 12-metre buses will feature cutting-edge 70 kW fuel cells that draw hydrogen from five tanks with a total capacity of 1560 litres. The hydrogen system components will have the highest safety systems available on the market. The hydrogen-powered Solaris buses will also feature a relatively small Solaris High Power traction battery, to support the fuel cell when the demand for electricity increases. The drive unit will be a central electric motor.

As for the interior design, the vehicles will feature high-standard equipment, similar to the one available in other green and yellow painted buses of the MPK’s fleet. The residents of Poznań will benefit from high-efficient air conditioning and a comprehensive passenger information system. A video surveillance system will provide for their safety. For even greater passenger convenience, MPK has decided to equip the buses with USB charging ports. The vehicles will offer 31 seats, including 10 with increased accessibility, i. e. without any additional steps. What is more, they will boast a bay for wheelchair-bound passengers and those with pushchairs or prams.

The buses will refill with hydrogen at a hydrogen refuelling station located at a gas station on Warszawska Street in Poznan.

Together with electric buses and trolleybuses, the Urbino 12 hydrogen bus constitutes a crucial part of the Solaris’s zero-emission offering. In September 2022, the manufacturer unveiled the articulated version of the hydrogen bus, the Urbino 18 hydrogen vehicle, which expanded the company’s hydrogen offering. The interest in this technology among European carriers has been rising from month to month just like the order book for environmentally friendly vehicles. So far, Solaris has delivered 62 hydrogen vehicles to transport operators from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Poland. 

In the photo, from left: Marek Grzybowski (Deputy CEO for Technical Affairs, MPK Poznań sp. z o.o), Krzysztof Dostatni (CEO of MPK Poznań sp. z o.o.), Jacek Jaskowiak (President of the City of Poznań), Javier Calleja (CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o.).

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Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. is one of the leading producers of city and intercity buses in Europe. It focuses in particular on the development of zero-emission vehicles, i. e. electric and hydrogen buses as well as trolleybuses. This has resulted in the widest zero-emission product range in the European market and a leading position in this segment with a market share of 15.2%. Nearly 25,000 Solaris vehicles have been delivered so far and they ply the streets in 850 towns and cities across 33 countries located throughout Europe as well as beyond it. Solaris is part of the Spanish CAF Group (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) S.A. From conception, to the design and manufacturing phases, all Solaris buses are produced in Poland. Moreover, all activities undertaken by the manufacturer are in line with the brand’s mission, which is reflected in the motto “We are changing the image of public transport”. Solaris also actively partners with public transport operators and provides them with comprehensive support in their transition to zero-emission mobility.

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Mateusz Figaszewski

E-mobility Development & Market Intelligence Director

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