A new EU project has enabled the extension of fuel cell bus trials in seven European cities. The HyFLEET:CUTE project is a demonstration project, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), which will seek to promote the development of hydrogen technology. Part of the project involves the extension of the CUTE and ECTOS fuel cell bus trials in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid and Reykjavik. 'Clean and efficient drive technologies will increasingly be incorporated into local public transit systems. The extension of the bus project is an important step in this direction,' said Professor Herbert Kohler from Daimler Chrysler, the company coordinating the new project. The buses have already been operating in ten cities for two years. By the end of 2005, the 36 buses had covered almost 1.1 million kilometres, and had been on the road for more than 75,000 hours. The data collected over these two years will allow the developers to further increase the lifespan of the buses, and in particular their energy stacks. The current generation of fuel cell stacks has been in operation for more than 2,000 hours without any loss of performance - much longer than the engineers had expected. The trials have also contributed to the construction of a hydrogen infrastructure necessary for the buses' daily operation. This is something that the HyFLEET:CUTE project will take further, identifying technologies and processes for the production and distribution of hydrogen. The new project will also develop and construct a new fleet of hydrogen buses in order to demonstrate different hydrogen technologies. In addition to the buses operating in European cities, Daimler Chrysler also had fuel cell buses running in Beijing in China, and Perth in Australia. 'These buses have convincingly demonstrated the reliability and robustness of fuel-cell performance in various climatic zones and topographies,' said Professor Kohler on delivering three buses to Berlin. 'They have withstood the winter cold of Reykjavik and Stockholm as well as the heat of Madrid. They have performed well in flat terrain as well as with gradients of up to eight per cent in Porto and Stuttgart.' Daimler Chrysler was the world's largest private investor in research and development in 2005.
Germany, Spain, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands