Hyundai Starts Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Trials in Germany

Hyundai is targeting Europe for the  roll-out of its public transportation hydrogen powertrain technology with the start of trials of its Elec City Fuel Cell bus in Germany.

The automaker has announced it is working with bus operators in Munich following a bus hand-over ceremony at OMV Hydrogen Refueling Station in Wendling, Irschenberg, Bavaria, to operators Ettenhuber and Geldhauser. The two bus operators will take turns running the Elec City Fuel Cell bus on existing routes in Munich, carrying ticket holding passengers. Its bus claims range of more than 310 miles between refueling stops.

Hyundai’s Elec City bus is equipped with a 180-kW (237bhp) high-capacity hydrogen fuel cell system, which consists of two 90-kW hydrogen fuel cells, equipped with a durable hydrogen diffusion layer and an electrolyte membrane. There are five hydrogen tanks in the roof, storing a total of 34 kg of hydrogen.

The automaker plans to run demos with four more bus operators this year, collecting passenger and driver feedback along the way. It hopes to prove hydrogen-powered buses as a viable, efficient solution for commercial transportation. Elec City Fuel Cell has been commercially available in Korea since 2019 and a total of 108 units have been put into operation.

The buses being used in various public bus routes in the country have reduced carbon emissions by an estimated 7,700 tons to date compared to internal combustion buses. On a yearly basis, Elec City Fuel Cell buses that are currently in operation are expected to reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent amount of CO2 sequestered in a year by 1,500 hectares of forest.

Martin Zeilinger, executive vice-president and head of Hyundai’s CV development tech unit, said: “With our leading fuel cell technology, Hyundai Motor is demonstrating how mass-produced Elec City Fuel Cell buses can help reduce CO2 emissions while providing clean mobility. Running these in-service trials will help us further develop our vehicles to meet European customer requirements.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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