Ballard Power Systems announced a purchase order from Van Hool, a leading bus OEM and Ballard partner headquartered in Belgium, for 20 FCveloCity®-HD 85-kilowatt (kW) fuel cell modules to power buses in Groningen, the Netherlands, under the JIVE2 funding program.
Ballard plans to deliver the 20 FCveloCity-HD 85kW modules in 2020. These will power 20 Van Hool A330 model Fuel Cell Electric Buses (FCEBs) that are planned for deployment with Qbuzz, the transit agency for the city of Groningen, by the end of next year. Shell has been contracted to build a hydrogen refueling station at the Peizerweg bus depot in Groningen to support this fleet of FCEBs, with each bus having a range of 350-to-400 kilometers (220-to-250 miles) between refuelings.
Rob Campbell, Ballard’s Chief Commercial Officer said, “We are delighted to provide fuel cell power modules to Van Hool, a long-standing Ballard partner in Europe, as an important sign of continued progress in the deployment of zero-emission buses under the JIVE2 program. These new Fuel Cell Electric Buses for Groningen represent another vote of confidence in Ballard’s fuel cell technology and products. This is a follow-on order for modules, after the deployment of two Ballard-powered Van Hool buses with Qbuzz in 2017.”
Fleur Gräper-van Kookwijk, Regional Minister for the Province of Groningen and Chairwoman of the Public Transport Authority OV-bureau added, “Hydrogen is no longer an experimental fuel, but has become a serious zero-emission drivetrain used in everyday public transportation. We are proud to implement hydrogen at this scale in the north of the Netherlands and to be a frontrunner in the Netherlands and Europe.”
Ballard fuel cell modules have demonstrated unmatched on-road performance in fuel cell buses, including earlier generation modules operating in some European buses for more than 35,000 hours with only minimal fuel cell maintenance required.
Europe’s JIVE (Joint Initiative For Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe) funding programs are intended to pave the way to commercialization of fuel cell electric buses by coordinating procurement activities to unlock economies-of-scale and reduce costs as well as supporting new hydrogen refueling stations. Results of the JIVE programs are expected to demonstrate the technical readiness of FCEBs to bus operators and the economic viability of hydrogen as a zero-emission bus fuel to policy makers. The JIVE programs are supported by a total of €57 million in grants from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).