Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. (polish manufacture of buses and coaches) to supply 40 hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses to Osterreichische Postbus AG, (Austria’s largest bus operator).
Both companies have signed three framework agreements for 182 buses to be delivered over the period between 2021 and 2023. According to the agreement, Solaris will supply 40 Urbino 12 hydrogen buses, while the remaining 142 buses would be diesel buses including Urbino 18, Urbino 12 and Urbino 8. All the diesel buses would fulfil the Euro 6 emissions standards.
Urbino 12 hydrogen buses are the most innovative vehicles from Solaris’s range. Some of its attributes include extremely low-noise levels, reduced vibrations and, no emissions.
The buses are installed with 70 kW fuel cells for powering the bus. Electric power, produced via reverse electrolysis, is transferred directly to the driveline, consisting of an axle with electric motors.
All the Urbino 12 buses are installed with a Solaris high power battery. The hydrogen requires powering the bus to be stored in tanks with a total volume capacity of 1,560 litres. These tanks are fixed at the bus’s roofs. The Solaris Urbino 12 bus has a capacity of 37 seats.
Hydrogen-powered buses normally have a range of ~400 kilometres per tank of fuel. It takes the hydrogen bus around 15 minutes for 30 to 35 kg of hydrogen. During winter, hydrogen-fuelled buses can use the heat which is produced during the chemical reaction in the fuel cell.
Solaris has a presence in Austria since 2003, and so far delivered around 400 buses to 50 cities in Austria. Urbino 12 hydrogen was launched in June 2019 and since then has received orders from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Sweden, for 69 buses in total.
In 2018, Postbus became the first company in Austria to test a hydrogen bus. OBB-Postbus started its first hydrogen-powered regular bus service in 2018 with Vienna Airport Lines (Schwechat Airport – Vienna).