In response to growing interest of the European market in emission-free public transport vehicles, Solaris Bus & Coach has debuted its new generation, hydrogen (H2) bus.
Solaris Urbino 12 H2, scheduled for release in 2019, will be completely emission free. Energy needed to power the driveline of the bus will be obtained from hydrogen which will be processed in a fuel cell to electric power.
It represents the continuation and development of a concept which saw the light of day in 2014 for the first time, when two articulated electric buses (Solaris Urbino 18,75) powered with H2 fuel cells as range extenders, were delivered to Hamburg. Batteries constituted the basic drive source of the buses showcased four years ago. In the new hybrid bus, electric energy propelling the vehicle will be derived from hydrogen, whereas the battery will only have a support function.
The 12 metre Solaris Urbino H2 will be equipped with cutting-edge fuel cells of the latest generation, boasting a power of 60 kW. The producer is using also the latest H2 storing technologies, by installing H2 tanks made of composites on the vehicle roof – thanks to this step the mass of the tanks will be reduced by about 20% compared to previous models. In order to optimally reduce energy use in the vehicle, it will feature a climate comfort system with a CO₂ heat pump; the system will allow to use waste heat from the fuel cell. This is a completely novel proposition that is to guarantee extraordinary efficiency while significantly improving the driving range of the bus.
“The revolution in terms of green public transport has become a fact – Solaris has decided to respond to market demand with a whole new product. H2 buses have the potential to be very popular on the market: they are cheap in use, lighter than electric buses, can cover a distance of 350 km on a single H2 refuelling (that is also the average daily range of a city bus) and they are completely emission-free – the only substance emitted while the bus is driving is steam,” declared Dariusz Michalak, Vice-CEO of Solaris Bus &Coach, in charge of the research and development division.