The High V.LO-City project, through the use of, highly efficient, FCH buses and a comprehensive, modular maintenance and hydrogen infrastructure build-up, provides facilitated substitution of conventional vehicles in public transport fleets. Building on the arguments of the Public Transport (PT)Operators of the High V.LO-City demonstration sites, Liguria, Antwerp and Aberdeen and of previous fuel cell bus demo sites, that led them to start substituting their conventional fleets with FCH buses, the High V.LO-City project further demonstrates the economic and technical viability of these buses and of intelligent infrastructure solutions, necessary for broad market introduction.
The project locations, with regards to past and future demonstration project cities, offer key stakeholders an important perspective for broader European-wide fuel cell and hydrogen business development and investment decisions, engaging new industrial players to get involved in the further deployment of these technologies.
The project includes innovative solutions to current trends in the operations of public transport fleets that require great flexibility in refuelling and maintenance infrastructure. Modular build-up of refuelling infrastructure linked to low cost low carbon hydrogen sources as well as models for inter-modular fleet management in combination with other modes of transport will be tested as well.
The overall objective of High V.LO-City is to facilitate rapid deployment of the last generation of FCH buses in public transport operations, by addressing key environmental and operational concerns that transport authorities are facing today. Through the strategic location of the project demo sites the project envisions broad dissemination of actual FCH bus performance in normal bus operations to other first users and potentially interested transport authorities in their geographical area.
The detailed objectives of the High V.LO-City project are to:
- Implement a fleet of 14 H2 hybrid FC commercial public buses in 3 regions across Europe with significantly enhanced fuel economy and high levels of availability, and with reduced maintenance and external technical input requirements
- Establish and enhance three hydrogen production and refuelling facilities, linked to economical and sustainable hydrogen production plants, reducing the life cycle costs of H2 provision and transport
- Create a network of successful FCH bus operation sites, so called Clean Hydrogen Bus Centres of Excellence (CHBCE), linking High V.LO-City sites with similar fuel cell bus demonstrations in Europe, connecting regions form Italy, through Switzerland, Germany with Belgium, UK and Italy, to facilitate the dissemination of clear and factual information on hydrogen bus operations to transport authorities and key decision makers.
- Evaluate the entire life cycle costs of buses, from their productions up the final operation aspects in view of the requirements of the EU Directive on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (COM2009/33).
- Contribute to the commercialization of H2 Hybrid buses in Europe, supporting the transferability of results achieved. High V.LO-City will set up business cases and Regional Mobility Plans as a success case and success models to be re-used in other European regions.
- Contribute to the standardisation of authorization protocols for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, through the analysis of existing experiences and existing barriers of national and regional regulatory frameworks in Europe.
- Facilitate EU objectives and policies by researching and demonstrating the environmental, human health, energy efficiency, social and economic benefits of hydrogen powered buses in public transport,
- Pro-actively communicate project advantages to citizens, communities, decision-makers and decision-formers so as to increase awareness, promotion, deployment and broader adoption of hydrogen fuelled vehicles, in particular for public and collective clean transport.