One hundred hydrogen fuel cell electric buses will be deployed in cities across Australia as part of a major new project announced today by Australian transport firm Transit Systems.
Key multi-national strategic partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evaluate and demonstrate the concept of hydrogen buses for use in public bus transport in Australia, under the H20zBus Project.
A consortium comprising Transit Systems, Ballard Power Systems, BOC, Palisade Investment Partners and ITM Power, will deploy 100 buses in Phase 1, with the intention to use this as a seed for more widespread roll-out.
The first phase of the project is a concept development phase that will focus on infrastructure requirements and detailed plans for use of hydrogen buses on bus routes in up to 10 central hub locations across Australia where interest and demand for fuel cell buses has already been identified.
The consortium is leveraging the strengths of each partner as they work towards agreement on feasibility, scope and funding of the next phase of the project.
ITM Power and BOC will provide the hydrogen production and refuelling infrastructure; Ballard Power Systems will supply the fuel cell system to be integrated into the electric buses supplied by supporting bus manufacturers; Transit Systems will maintain and operate the vehicles as part of their daily urban transit operations (or within a strategically located project managed by Transit Systems); and Palisade Investment Partners will assist in providing funding and strategic financial oversight.
“H2OzBus Project provides the first application in Australia of our new 2MW PEM module that has been developed as a result of the REFHYNE project in Germany with Shell and represents a significant scale-up from our sub-1MW foundation projects for Toyota Australia and BOC Australia,” said Dr. Neil Thompson, Managing Director of ITM Power.
Vesna Olles, Director for Strategy and Business Development at BOC, said, “BOC is committed to developing a future Australian transport industry significantly powered by hydrogen.”
“Integrating hydrogen in light transport and rolling out hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in major cities is one of the key priorities outlined in the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy.”
Randy MacEwen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems, said, “Formation of this new H2OzBus Project to address zero-emission public transit needs in Australia, will provide bus operators with an alternative electric bus option with no compromise on performance and operation.”
“Use cases requiring extended range, air conditioning and rapid refuelling are an ideal fit for our fuel cell systems, which have been proven through more than 30-million kilometres of on-road experience to date.”