In the past, fuel cell (FC) systems have been successfully developed for city buses. No activities towards the development of coaches are known in Europe so far. The target of this project is both to carry the experience from the development of FC city bus systems one step further into the more challenging constraints of typical coaches as well as to strengthen the European vehicle manufacturing base and supply chain of hydrogen components.
The project presents two coach solutions to solve the challenges of longer driving distances of regional and long-distance coaches (400-800 km), the more stringent packaging constraints, less favourable driving patterns (lower recuperation) and higher auxiliary powers (air conditioning & heating) and demonstrates the coaches at two regions in 2 to 3-year demo phases.
The project is based on a coherent structure and balanced partnership, addresses all call specific requirements and aims for the highest benefits from a technological and market perspective:
- both coach types being equally addressed by applying a common hybrid system concept and preparing for the development of FC drive system synergies
- comparing different and modular FC packaging concepts by the use of multiple and single FC units being tested in fulfilment of the 100 kW power requirement
- one set of coaches to develop an OEM-based new-built FC coach and another one an existing coach retrofit to also provide answers for the second life use of environmentally outdated coach chassis
- partnering with established FC manufacturers promising to reach the required 25,000 operating hours minimum, and validated in the project possibly with used stacks
- an experienced composite tank manufacturer to discuss the design option of potentially applying 350 bar and 700 bar technology for the coaches in fulfilment of targeting the required driving ranges at lowest costs and
- experienced automotive system developers to search for operational minimum energy consumption patterns.