Hydrogen and battery power can co-exist, says Wrightbus
Hydrogen powertrains continue to be a constant influence on the evolution of the heavy-duty industry. As the public transport ecosystem becomes more diverse, more brands are beginning to make an impact in the market, with greater emphasis on sustainability throughout the vehicle manufacturing and fueling cycles. .
The EU-funded CoacHyfied project examines whether hydrogen fuel cells can be adapted to fit internal combustion engine (ICE) chassis as a cost-effective approach to decarbonising long-distance coaches and buses urban. While other similar avenues have also been explored by British company ULEMco, blending hydrogen and diesel fuel to improve the efficiency of existing ICE engines, CoacHyfied says “zero emission fuels remain the way forward. “. The tests started in January 2021, with the use of several intercity buses between Swiss and French Alpine towns. Arriva Italia is also experimenting with hydrogen and electric battery technology in its current bus fleets, testing both types within the confines of Trieste airport in northern Italy.
Some companies and organizing authorities consider the simultaneous development of battery electric and hydrogen as a competition between the two fuels. Wrightbus, however, argues that they can coexist. The Northern Irish bus manufacturer has quickly become an industry leader in pioneering commercial applications of fuel cells and electric powertrains for Britain and mainland Europe. The company’s success has seen it deliver sustainable buses for London’s transport network and, in early 2022, secure orders for 36 new hydrogen-powered double-decker buses from the Go-Ahead Group for use in Norway and Germany.
Chief Executive Jo Bamford suggests that a public transport authority’s choice to use fuel cells or electric powertrains remains dependent on the infrastructure and financial situation of transport authorities seeking to decarbonise. “In reality, you’ll only get mass adoption of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles if they cost the same, operate the same, and are as easy to fill as a gasoline or diesel vehicle,” he said. -he declares. automotive world. “Wrightbus believes the only answer to this problem lies in the hydrogen sector.”