Intercity coach service FlixBus and technology specialist Freudenberg Sealing Technologies are working together to put hydrogen fuel cell-powered coaches on the road.
FlixBus has clearly defined the requirement profile for its vehicles: performance characteristics such as acceleration should correspond to those of today’s diesel-powered, long-distance buses that are compliant to the Euro IV standard.
These fuel cell vehicles should cover at least 500km of continuous use without refuelling. Hydrogen refuelling, itself, should be possible in 20 minutes or less – a time similar to what is required to refill a diesel fuel tank.
“We want to help shape the future of mobility,” Fabian Stenger, Managing Director of FlixBus said. “Following the successful launch of three electric long-distance buses, we now want to develop the first long-distance bus with fuel cell drive together with Freudenberg and set another milestone in the history of mobility.”
The two companies will work on a hybrid system, which intelligently combines battery and fuel cells, can be used in long-distance bus transportation and heavy commercial vehicle applications.
Initially, a representative bus fleet of 30 vehicles will be equipped with a hybrid powertrain to validate system performance.
The two companies are also aiming for public funding within the framework of the German National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).
The aim is to ensure that this technology quickly reaches market maturity and thus makes a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies CEO Claus Möhlenkamp added, “We see the fuel cell in combination with electric batteries as an integral part of the mobility of the future.”
“With FlixBus, we have found a partner for this zero-emission application and are looking forward to working together on this groundbreaking project.”