Hydrogen technology proven in High V.LO City project
Hydrogen for mobility has proven under the auspices of the European High V.LO City1 project to be a reliable technology for the future. This also became apparent during the closing conference of the project on 27 November in Groningen.
ACCELERATE THE INTEGRATION OF HYDROGEN-POWERED PUBLIC BUS TRANSPORT
After seven years, the European High V.LO City project has come to an end. The purpose of this project was to demonstrate by means of pilots that hydrogen will also be a reliable technology for mobility in the future. The EU also wanted to accelerate the integration of hydrogen-powered public bus transport in cities in this way. The project was co-funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).
14 HYDROGEN BUSES & 4 REFUELLING STATIONS
PitPoint, which is part of the Total group, was one of the project partners, and they now own and operate two hydrogen filling stations as a result. The stations are fully operational in Antwerp and Delfzijl. In the space of seven years, a lot has changed, been learned and developed in the field of hydrogen. A total of fourteen hydrogen buses have been launched within the project, refuelling at four locations. Apart from Delfzijl and Antwerp, Aberdeen (Great Britain) and San Remo (Italy) are other cities involved. Van Hool supplied the hydrogen buses.
Oskar Voorsmit is business development manager Hydrogen at PitPoint, and he was involved in the High V.LO City project in this capacity. He was one of the speakers at the meeting on 27 November who shared his experiences of the programme and looked ahead to the future. “Hydrogen has really proven itself and it is ready to go further into the market. Seven hydrogen buses refuel on a daily basis at these two PitPoint filling stations. The fact that we are dealing with a technology that will be reliable in future is also evident from the availability of buses and filling stations and the number of kilometres driven on hydrogen.”
´´In order to further scale up the hydrogen product, we as a sector need to innovate, standardise and create an increase in scale.´´
Oskar Voorsmit, business development manager Hydrogen at PitPoint
Voorsmit cited recent plans to introduce 50 hydrogen buses for public transport by 2021 as the next step in the Netherlands. It is not yet time to sit back and relax, however. “In order to further scale up the hydrogen product, we as a sector need to innovate, standardise and create an increase in scale. The more vehicles there are, the more hydrogen is needed. There are now also more bus suppliers who have hydrogen buses available compared to the start of High V.LO City in 2013.”
KNOW WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT
In Voorsmit’s opinion, service is important to subsequently apply hydrogen in an operational environment as well. “You must know what the customers want, and their main concern is to use scheduled bus services, without having to make concessions. We are in a position to provide the desired service, because we have extensive experience in supplying clean fuels for public transport and because we are present throughout the entire value chain, including the design, construction, maintenance and operation of a refuelling station,” he concluded.
Editor's note, not for publication
1 High V.LO City has been subsidised by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (FP7/2007-2013) for ‘the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative‘ under subsidy agreement no. 278192.