Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 4 - HIGH V.LO-CITY (Cities speeding up the integration of hydrogen buses in public fleets)

Project Context and Objectives:
The overall objective of High V.LO-City is to facilitate rapid deployment of the last generation FC Buses in public transport operations, by addressing key environmental and operational concerns that transport authorities are facing today.
Through the strategic location of High V.LO City demo sites the project envisions broad dissemination of actual FCH bus performance in normal bus operations to other first users and potentially interested transport authorities in their geographical area.

The detailed objectives of the High V.LO-City project are to:
- Implement a fleet of 14 H2 hybrid FC commercial public buses in 3 regions across Europe with significantly enhanced fuel economy and high levels of availability, and with reduced maintenance and external technical input requirements
- Establish and enhance three hydrogen production and refuelling facilities, linked to economical and sustainable hydrogen production plants, reducing the life cycle costs of H2 provision and transport
- Create a network of successful FC Bus operation sites, so called Clean Hydrogen Bus Centres of Excellence (CHBCE), linking High V.LO-City sites with similar fuel cell bus demonstrations in Europe, connecting regions form Italy, through Switzerland, Germany with Belgium, UK and Scandinavia, to facilitate the dissemination of clear and factual information on hydrogen bus operations to transport authorities and key decision makers.
- Evaluate the entire life cycle costs of buses, from their productions up the final operation aspects in view of the requirements of the EU Directive on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (COM2009/33).
- Contribute to the commercialization of H2 Hybrid buses in Europe, supporting the transferability of results achieved. High V.LO-City will set up business cases and Regional Mobility Plans as a success case to be re-used in other regions.
- Contribute to the standardisation of authorization protocols for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, through the analysis of existing experiences and existing barriers of national and regional regulatory frameworks in Europe.
- Facilitate EU objectives and policies by researching and demonstrating the environmental, human health, energy efficiency, social and economic benefits of hydrogen powered buses in public transport,
- Pro-actively communicate project advantages to citizens, communities, decision makers and decision-formers so as to increase awareness, promotion, deployment and broader adoption of hydrogen fuelled vehicles, in particular for public and collective clean transport.

According to the current project plan, adapted from the original one by the second Consortium Amendment, the expected objectives of this reporting period were to start the operational activities of FCBs & HRIs in Aberdeen, to further culminate experience with buses in operations in Antwerp and define a final solution for the blocked situation in Sanremo.
It can be said that these objectives have been realized in 2015 since the both the Antwerp and Aberdeen sites are in daily service and a solution for the Sanremo site is being put in place.

Project Results:
Summarized objectives
The overall objective of High V.LO City is to facilitate deployment of the last generation Fuel Cell Hybrid Buses (FCB) in public transport operations, by addressing key environmental and operational concerns that transport authorities are facing today. Through the strategic location of the project’s 3 demo sites, the project envisions broad dissemination of actual FCB performance in normal bus operations to other first users and potentially interested transport authorities in their geographical area.
The project’s main results – work performed
During the fourth project year, two of the three High V.LO City sites were operational: Aberdeen and Antwerp. The Antwerp site continued its operations that have been started end of 2014. The Aberdeen site started up after the site launch in March 2015. Both sites have been struggling with a low availability in the start of the daily service, but in close collaboration with the bus manufacturer and its suppliers the technical problems that caused this limited availability have been solved within a teething period that was significantly shorter as in former FC Bus projects.
Aberdeen launches the largest European FC Bus fleet
On March 11th, the largest fuel cell bus fleet has been presented in Aberdeen. 10 FC Buses are operating now in this Scottish city. 4 of them, operated by First and owned by Aberdeen City Council are part in the High V.LO City project. The other six buses are operated by Stagecoach and are part of the FCH JU project ‘HyTransit’. The buses are since June in regular service with a high availability. Since then all introduction problems have been solved.
Antwerp continues to demonstrate 5 FC Buses
5 Fuel Cell buses operated since December 2014 in Antwerp. The significant difference in managing FC Buses with diesel buses and technical introduction problems led to increased operational stress in the local organization and resulted in a temporarily interrupt in the daily service of these buses after the first quarter of 2015. Technical improvements and severe reacceptance tests delivered evidence that the technology is suitable for daily operations. A smooth reintroduction in service from September onwards succeeded and results again in 5 buses in daily service.
A solution for Sanremo is being negotiated
As a reaction on the blocked satiation due to the absence of cofinances in Sarnemo, a sustainable solution has been further negotiated. The solution reduces the need for additional funds is found by reducing the Sanremo demonstration towards 3 vehicles and another site coming in that will demonstrate the remaining 2 vehicles. The release of the required budgets and the final negotiations therefore is finalized in the first quarter of 2016.
Data logging
With 9 buses in service in the High V.LO City project, data that describes service characteristics, bus- and refueling station performance and economical impact of the demonstrations is generated. This dataflow is processed and analyzed by the operators, the bus and refueling station suppliers and finally by DITEN, the projects’ evaluation manager. 2015 was finished with an overall bus availability of 91 % in Antwerp and 80.05 % in Aberdeen and respectively 73.392 and 105.415 km driven. Considering the refueling stations in both sites, a station availability of 96.6% in Antwerp and of 99.99% in Aberdeen was recorded.
Dissemination of project achievements
The dissemination activities in 2015 concentrate on informing about the presence of the High V.LO City sites and its’ current status of readiness. The culminating point was the launch of Europe’s largest FC Bus fleet in Aberdeen, from which 4 buses are demonstrated in the High V.LO City project. Several other disseminations were managed mainly led by Aberdeen City Council, VVM DeLijn and Van Hool.
Waterstofnet introduced the Fuel Cell Bus Wiki page that should become the standard source for FC Bus knowledge.
To prepare for the dissemination in the next phase of the project, HyER worked out a new dissemination plan in which 23 messages are defined that will summarize the projects realizations.

Potential Impact:
Final results
In the High V.LO City project the demonstration of 14 FCB at three demonstration sites in Sanremo, Aberdeen and Antwerp is realised, each of them equipped with an own, novel Refuelling Infrastructure. This demonstration, together with highly efficient dissemination activities, will result in:
-an increase of public awareness in both the 3 sites involved and potential candidate regions in order to accelerate the commercialization steps of hydrogen public transport.
-documentation on approval and certification processes of vehicles and infrastructure
-dissemination of lessons learned
-evaluation of vehicles and refuelling infrastructure
-enlargement and interlinking of spots in Europe’s zero-emission corridor

Impacts related to the JTI Implementation Plan
High V. LO-City intends to maximise the effect of its actions at local level, considering the regional development as the key element to sustain the overall European FCH market take-up. Involving in each of the three planned demonstration sites the entire value chain of stakeholders (Public administration, PT Operators, Research organisation, educational centres), the expected outcome is to reach Regional & Urban Mobility Plans, which will commit selected regions to built-up long-lasting integrated policies to support FCH market enhancement, targeted to their specific needs.
The first step to reach an European impact is the selection of three test sites in Antwerp, Liguria and Aberdeen. These demonstration sites represent three of the most relevant scenarios to be analysed I Europe to sustain the FCH market take-off. Positive comparison analysis of these demonstrators will allow High V. LO-City to produce sound business cases and regulatory proposals on effective push and pull local measures.

Impacts of EU transport policy
HIGH V.LO-CITY investigates and demonstrates new buses systems and solutions to identify a set of tools and solutions (practical, organisational or other) that could contribute to enhance the integration and sustainability of the H2 vehicles market in Europe. HIGH V.LO-CITY is concerned with the potential of knowledge sharing and transferability of successful local business cases,presenting practical and feasible approaches on how to speed the market enhancement of innovative H2 vehicles and refuelling infrastructures at regional level.
Expected impacts in relation to stakeholders involvement
Industrial partners will use the technical results of the demonstration activities to develop the designs of their buses and refuelling systems ready for a widespread rollout of the technology.
They will support a process of standardisation in defining the H2 bus of the future, promoting a convergence strategy on technical and functional standards of buses and their technical components.
Bus manufacturers will also use the results of the project to develop a formal commercial offer of hydrogen bus vehicles as a part of their standard product range. This will allow the bus industry to respond to zero emission mandated procurement projects, to promote hydrogen bus technologies to their mainstream customers and begin to develop formal procurement strategies. The results of the successful deployment of hydrogen buses under this project will be a critical part of that offer.
Research partners will use the results of the project to demonstrate the beneficial contribution of the High V. LO-City project to the reduction of greenhouse gases, and the benefit to a range of environmental and economic policies and strategies of the EC. These benefits of hydrogen buses will be used to lobby for supportive international, national and local policies during the commercial introduction of hydrogen bus technologies.
PT operators and Regional administrations will use the results of the project and the increased public approval for hydrogen bus technologies to set-up, in their own territories and regions local Clean Technology Centre of Excellence.

List of Websites:


Flip Bamelis, (R&D Project coordination)
Tel.: +3234202210
Fax: +3234202268
Record Number: 189170 / Last updated on: 2016-09-20