Berlin Transit: 250 hydrogen buses by 2009 – 20% of the fleet?
Read on for Treehugger’s report on diesel versus hydrogen fuel in Berlin:
The Berliner Zeitung reports that state-owned BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), the city’s mass-transit company, will buy up to 250 hydrogen buses by 2009. At that figure, roughly one out of every five buses in the city would be hydrogen-fuelled.
Manufacturers will be asked to provide offers for both diesel and hydrogen-fuelled buses in response to BVG’s request for proposals in 2007.
“We want to take the path to hydrogen technology consistently,” says Thomas Necker, BVG board member.
The rapidly rising cost of diesel fuel is reducing the cost gap with hydrogen. Four years ago, the BVG was paying approximately €0.68 per liter (US$3.20 per gallon). Today, the price has increased to €0.94 (US$4.44 per gallon) and is expected to increase to €1.20 per liter (US$5.68) by the end of the decade.
At that price, hydrogen, which is produced by Total from butane at its Leuna refinery (150 kilometers from Berlin), is competitive.
Berlin has two hydrogen filling stations, opened to support its participation in the European hydrogen project HyFLEET:CUTE. It runs a fleet of 14 hydrogen buses as part of that project.
The BVG also tested two MAN hydrogen buses during the FIFA Soccer World Cup, using them to transport fans from the Tegel International Airport to the Olympic Stadium.
Looking to the future in Australia Greenfleet says the next stage is inevitably the fuel-cell powered electric vehicle.
What are fuel cells?
Fuel cells are an electrochemical device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, producing electricity in the process – so we get a vehicle whose only emission is pure water!
Are you considering a different form of fuel?