The world's largest hydrogen powered bus project

The HyFLEET:CUTE project involved the operation of 47 hydrogen powered buses in regular public transport service in 10 cities on three continents. The aim of the four year project, funded by the European Union, was to develop and demonstrate advanced hydrogen drive concepts for city buses as well as technologies and processes for the production and distribution of sustainable supply pathway for hydrogen. The Project aimed to diversify and reduce energy consumption in the transport system by developing new, fuel efficient hydrogen powered bus technology, and clean, efficient and safe ways of producing and distributing hydrogen fuel.

33 of the vehicles were powered by fuel cells. 14 buses operated on internal combustion engines modified for hydrogen fuel. Four of these were naturally aspirated while the other ten will be turbo charged with direct fuel injection. A prototype next generation hybrid fuel cell bus was developed, tested and demonstrated.

In the project, existing hydrogen infrastructure was further optimised and new hydrogen refuelling infrastructure was developed and demonstrated. Hydrogen was produced in different ways both on the refuelling station (on site) and away from the station (off site) in order to evaluate the different methods of hydrogen production.

HyFLEET:CUTE also included the operation of stationary fuel cells to provide power and heat to a service station. The project involved the cooperation of 31 partners from politics, industry and science to promote the development of hydrogen technology. HyFLEET:CUTE was part of “Hydrogen for Transport”, an initiative that grouped, coordinated and monitored all the transport demonstration projects of the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform.

PLANET's role

PLANET lead the performance assessment regarding the hydrogen refuelling facilities, thereby following up its work under the forerunner project CUTE. The key indicators derived from daily operation date from the 10 sites included efficiencies and availabilities. “Critical components” were determined which at several sites and/or repeatedly caused downtime. In co-operation with the project partners, measures for optimisation were developed as well as recommendation for future systems.

PLANET was in charge of the worldwide training activities for stakeholders without experience in hydrogen technologies. The objective was to widely spread to experiences and learnings from HyFLEET:CUTE. The New Member States of the European Union were a particular focus. The workshops did not only address technology-related topics but also covered crucial subjects such as community issues, approvals and certifications.

PLANET was a member of the project management team, of the Task Force for Safety and Security, and of the Task Force Communication and Learnings. These engagements reflected our wide range of experiences and competences.

A PLANET representative was elected to the Steering Committee of HyFLEET:CUTE.

Fuel cell bus in Luxembourg

Key Figures

The project duration was January 2006 till December 2009. The overall budget amounted to some 43 million €. Part of this sum was funded by the European Commission under its 6th Framework Programme (contract no. TREN/05/FP6EN/S07.52298/019991).

You can find more details about the project on: http://www.global-hydrogen-bus-platform.com/