‘Jive’ Project for Fuel Cell Vehicles in Five Countries
Coordinated with Seven ‘Mehrlin’ H2 Fueling Stations
Targets ‘The Economies of Scale Which Are Needed’
Partners including FCH JU, the European Commission-affiliated Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, have kicked off a project to deploy 144 fuel cell transit buses backed by seven hydrogen fueling stations in five countries: Germany, the UK, Italy, Latvia and Denmark.
“The scale of deployment envisaged here will allow European bus manufacturers to develop their production capabilities and achieve the economies of scale which are needed to allow fuel cell buses to compete with other zero emission modes of public transport,” states a release.
“Likewise, the project will show how hydrogen refueling stations with large daily demands can be commercially viable, providing valuable operational feedback to station operators and equipment manufacturers, whilst demonstrating the reliability and availability required for public transport operations.”
Element Energy at the Helm
The “Jive” project for hydrogen vehicles – Jive stands for ¬ Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe is supported by a €32 million (approximately $34.2 million U.S. at current rates) FCH JU grant. The initiative “has been developed and will be coordinated by Element Energy and is based on a partnership of public transport providers who will work together to procure the buses and refueling stations from European suppliers,” states a release.
The “Mehrlin” project for hydrogen fueling stations is supported by a €5.5 million ($5.9 million U.S.) EC grant “to demonstrate a new demand-led commercial model.” Also coordinated by Element Energy, Mehrlin “involves a study of the real-life operation of large-scale hydrogen stations… focusing on the financing of stations (bankability) and on technical, environmental, economic and regulatory performances.”
‘A Step-Change in Scale’
“Previous projects have proved that hydrogen fuel cell bus technology is technically ready and able to meet the needs of public transport operators on all routes,” Element Energy director Ben Madden said in a release.
“This project delivers a step-change in scale,” Madden said, “which allows manufacturers to start to deliver vehicles at a commercially plausible price.
“Its success will kick-start the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell buses to assist in improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases from our public transport systems.”
‘A Significant Turning Point’
The Jive initiative “marks a significant turning point in the de-carbonization of public transport,” said FCH JU executive director Bart Biebuyck, with the goal of “unlocking the economies of scale required for commercialization.
“Fuel cell buses offer great advantages as they can cut emissions and noise pollution, while providing good quality public transport,” Biebuyck said. “Bringing these benefits directly to citizens’ day-to-day lives is one of the priorities of the FCH JU and project Jive clearly is a stepping stone in this process. “
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Source: FCH JU with Fleets & Fuels follow-up