Clean Hydrogen In European Cities

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Transport and refuelling infrastructure

The CHIC project is a flagship zero emission bus project demonstrating the readiness of fuel cell electric buses for widespread commercial deployment, thus offering a solution for cities to decarbonise their public transport fleet and tackle local air pollution. CHIC involves 23 partners from 8 countries. In total, 56 fuel cell electric buses have been operated within the project in daily service, in eight cities – Aargau (CH), Bozen (IT), London (UK), Milan (IT) , Oslo (NO), Cologne (DE), Hamburg (DE) and Whistler (CA) – emitting nothing but water vapour at the tailpipe. In addition, 4 hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE) buses were operated in Berlin until 2014.

Fuel cell buses have the potential to be a drop-in replacement of diesel buses since the operation of fuel cell buses is the most similar with fossil fuel buses from all zero-emission alternatives: they have the longest independent range and shortest refuelling times whilst providing full operational flexibility (no on-street charging infrastructure is needed).

The project will end in December 2016. The city partners are currently planning for the expansion of their use of the technology. Meanwhile, other bus trials have started and a major European programme is underway, with the aim to deploy hundreds of buses by 2020, thus reducing the bus costs and ensuring the technology is commercially ready to begin the process of phasing-out carbon emissions from road transport.

• Over 8 million km travelled with diesel savings > 4 million litre
• Same operating range as a diesel bus demonstrated (up to 400km a day)
• Fuel cell buses achieve lower CO2 emissions than diesel buses of between 10 and 100%, depending on the primary energy source used for hydrogen generation - > 6,000 t saved within the project
• High fuel efficiency with an average of 9kg of hydrogen/100km for 12m buses, a >25% improvement over diesel buses
• Excellent availability of hydrogen refuelling stations (up to 98%)) and short refuelling times • CHIC regional stakeholders, bus drivers and passengers surveyed enjoy the buses and support a move to zero emission public transport
…all of which supports the assertion that fuel cell buses are as clean as battery buses and perform as well as diesel buses

Further developments:
• The purchasing cost of a bus has been cut by 50% since 2011. Further cost reductions are required to allow for widespread deployment; these will be achieved within the FCH JU Fuel Cell Bus Commercialisation strategy, a partnership between industry and local authorities, which plans an expansion of the European fuel cell bus fleet to hundreds by 2020
• Further increase in availability: numerous technology teething issues have been resolved within the CHIC project and partners expect a diesel equivalent availability to be reached with an increased scale of reliability of the innovative drive train and an optimized supply chain.
• Regulations on designs for large hydrogen fuelling station, construction and safety need to be harmonised at an EU and international level– Key stakeholders are working on EU/international standards to simplify procedures and decrease costs

Project reference: 
Topic SP1-JTI-FCH.2009.1.1 Large-scale demonstration of road vehicles and refuelling infrastructure II
Project type: 
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2010
End date: 
Saturday, December 31, 2016
81 months
Project cost: 
€ 81,956,227.28
Project funding: 
€ 25,878,334

EvoBus, Germany

Kerstin Mueller
Other participating organisations: 
Air Products Plc UK
Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A. ( ATM ) Italy
Berliner Verkehrsbetrieb A.ö.R. (BVG) Germany
Element Energy Limited UK
Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy France
HyCologne – Hydrogen Region Rheinland e.V. (PPP) Germany
Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG Germany
British Columbia Transit Canada
Linde AG Germany
London Bus Services Limited (LBSL) UK
PLANET - Planungsgruppe Energie und Technik GbR Germany
PostAuto Schweiz AG Switzerland
Spilett new technologies GmbH Germany
STA-Südtiroler Transportstrukturen AG - Strutture Trasporto Alto Italy
TOTAL Deutschland GmbH Germany
Universitaet Stuttgart Germany
Engineering Vattenfall Europe Innovation GmbH Germany
RuterAS Norway
Wrightbus Limited UK
hySOLUTIONS GmbH Germany
(Euro Keys SPRL) Belgium
(HyER) Belgium
(Centro ricerche Fiat) Italy