GenComm welcome Dublin hydrogen bus trial

GenComm, the Belfast Metropolitan College led European hydrogen project has been welcomed at the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric vehicle bus trials.

The Bus will be operated on different routes by CIÉ Group bus companies Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus as well as by Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport over a number of weeks in November and December, albeit carrying 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. 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.

At the launch of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus on the road, Hydrogen Mobility Ireland Chairman Mark Teevan (Toyota Ireland) said “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. “

CaetanoBus, part of the Salvador Caetano Group and Mitsui & Co, is the most important manufacturer of buses and coaches in Portugal. In 2019, the Company presented its latest development, the H2.City Gold – the new hydrogen-powered Caetano electric bus. In the beginning of this year Caetano started its commercialisation phase and, in the 2nd, quarter-initiated fuel cell bus production plans.

The trial will allow the partners to test this technology in everyday driving conditions and at a challenging time of the year in terms of weather, thereby gaining valuable information about the potential for large scale introduction of this technology in Ireland. DCU/CIE also intend to obtain insights and feedback from passengers on the bus. This weeks news will be followed early next year by a National Transport Authority trial involving a number of Double Decker FCEV buses while in Northern Ireland HMI Member and GenComm partner 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. The increasing rate of developments is a visible confirmation that hydrogen for road transport is beginning to move into the delivery phase.

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan, TD, said:

“I am delighted to welcome this Low Emission Trial of a H2.City Gold hydrogen fuel cell electric bus, with the assistance of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland and CaetanoBus. The trial will provide us with real world insight into the operation, refuelling and environmental impact of this innovative technology as well as enabling comparisons with the previously tested bus technologies. Moving our urban bus fleet to cleaner and greener technologies is essential if we are to further reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport system and limit air pollutant emissions in our cities. Under the Government’s National Development Plan, Ireland has committed to stop buying diesel-only urban buses and to transition to lower-emission alternatives.”