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Environmentally Friendly, Efficient Electric Motion

Periodic Report Summary 2 - 3EMOTION (Environmentally Friendly, Efficient Electric Motion)

Project Context and Objectives:
It is the 3Emotion project’s major objective to bridge the gap between former demonstration projects and the future large scale deployment. This will be realised through a targeted expansion in what has evolved into a reorganised project total of four key EU bus markets: UK (London), Netherlands (Rotterdam and Province of South Holland), France (Versailles and Pau) and Denmark (City of Aalborg).
In order to meet the overall objectives set out in the initial project definition, the consortium composition has been reorganised as four sites needed replacement during the second reporting period. The reasons were mostly related to ailing co-funding (Antwerp and ATAC Rome) and to organisational and related cost issues (Cherbourg and Cotral Rome).
This has led to some important delays due to restart the process ranging from signing-up, securing co-funding by local entities and working out numerous details of the procurement processes from defining the HRS and buses to delivery and service organisation issues. The deliverables and the milestones needed to be rescheduled accordingly. Nevertheless, at the end of the reporting period fuel cell buses were operational in London and Rotterdam. These are the only sites left over from the initial project definition.

Project Results:
During this reporting period, 4 fuel cell buses were put in operations in London (2) and in Rotterdam (2). Eight others continued its operations in London.
Besides these, the development of Fuel Cell bus technology continued as 2 new fuel cell bus concepts were worked out.
Bus supplier VDL developed a detachable hydrogen module on the back of the well-known electric Citea bus. By doing so, VDL separated the development of the ‘innovative’ part of the bus (the hydrogen module) from the ‘off the shelf’ electric bus. In this way, the innovation could focus on the hydrogen module allowing to have an efficient development trajectory.
Van Hool has reviewed its FC bus concept to make the component integration uniform with other lengths and applications. At the same time, new components needed have been integrated: the newest model of the fuel cell, new hydrogen storage tanks and a new electric motor. Thanks to the modification of the weights and measures directive of the E.U. it is now possible to offer a 12 meter 2 axle version with sufficient passenger capacity to compete with other zero emission options. (see Figure1).

Besides the work for the buses, important progress has been noted for the realisation of the refuelling stations in the project.
A new refuelling station will be placed in Aalborg to refuel 3 FC buses.
SMTU Pau signed a lifetime contract (for 15 years) with a consortium including both the bus (Van Hool) and infrastructure providers (ENGIE/GNVERT & ITM). It was the first time that the complete technology of hydrogen vehicles, as a transport system as a whole, including the refuelling station, was included in a public tender procedure ànd could compete other alternatives.
The final decision was made to upgrade the capacity of the Rhoon station in Rotterdam to be able to refuel the four buses operated by Connexxion for PZH (South Holland). It was shown not economically feasible to build a new station on the island of Gorée-Overflakee.

Considering the data monitoring during operations, CEA has defined a list of high level KPI’s that will be estimated from basic parameters that are logged both by automatic logging equipment and log books. (see Table 1).

The dissemination activities of the project have continued in accordance with the plan. Due to the fact that there are not many sites operational at this stage in the project, the dissemination mainly focuses on the creation of awareness for the existence of the project and Fuel Cell bus technology in general.
The 3Emotion dissemination tools (banners, brochures) were updated in accordance to the location changes and the news and milestones were published on the website and through the newsletter.
Participation in workshops and conferences by the partners were geared towards different target groups, such as operators in their search for more detailed information in preparation of their recommendations for possible zero emission bus procurement.
All local sites are disseminating on the project when opportunities occur.
Special attention was given to the kick off of the 2 buses in Rotterdam. In July 2017,the buses were presented to the stakeholders and the press. In September RET organized special kick off activities on the buses being operational for the first time in the regular bus schedule.
For the dissemination on the fuel cell bus sector the project works together with the other FCH JU projects to create joined opportunities to disseminate on the fuel cell sector in general.
Apart from joined communications on workshops and conferences, the website is kept up to date with all news and events on fuel cell buses in Europe. The website is considered as a ‘centre of excellence’/’knowledge portal’ on the fuel cell bus sector and consists of technical information on the buses and HRS, demonstration sites and performance data.
Potential Impact:
At the end of the project, Fuel Cell bus fleets will be deployed in five different European locations, (London, UK – Pau and Versailles, France – Rotterdam and Province South Holland, Netherlands – Aalborg, Denmark). Denmark has been added as a new EU member state in which fuel cell buses will be deployed.
At the end of this reporting period, it was clear that in total 16 new FC buses and 8 existing refurbished buses will be demonstrated in real life circumstances. 5 others (those originally foreseen in Rome), were to be assigned to another site. In order to allow sufficient time to operate the buses, collect all relevant data, make assessments about the transferability and disseminate the project, an extension of the project duration has been granted from 31/12/2019 till 31/12/2022. Following this extension, it is believed that all deliverables will be met.

It should be noted that the addition of the South French city of Pau offers a new and very promising and challenging perspective for fuel cell buses: it represents the world’s first modern design articulated 18m high-service level bus (BHNS = Bus à haut niveau de service or BRT = bus rapid transit). The reason of particular interest is that fuel cell electric buses, for some time to come, are more expensive than their battery-electric counterpart. Consequently demonstrating articulated fuel cell electric buses and the answers to the question whether they can outperform the battery electric buses as well as offering a “less expensive” alternative to light rail, would be very much welcomed in large or growing city operations.

List of Websites: