Photo: Kirsten Krämer, Omnibusspiegel.

Source: Solaris Bus & Coach press release

German public transport operator RVK has placed an order with Solaris Bus & Coach for 20 Urbino 12 hydrogen buses. After the deliveries have been completed, the city of Cologne will boast a fleet of 35 hydrogen Solaris buses in total. The contract also provides for the option to order another 20 vehicles of the same type.

In 2020, Cologne purchased 15 of these innovative vehicles and they were delivered to the carrier last year. Now, operator RVK has ordered another 20 vehicles sporting hydrogen fuel cell technology. Thus, Cologne will boast the biggest fleet of hydrogen Solaris buses in Europe.

“This new order for our hydrogen buses, one on such a significant scale, is a token of the high regard we are held in. This is also a proof of the dynamic transition to zero-emission sustainable public transport taking place in European towns and cities. Cologne is definitely a leader in this transformation”, said Petros Spinaris, member of the Management Board of Solaris for Sales, Marketing and After Sales.

As for their design, equipment and performance, the vehicles will be much the same as the buses ordered by RVK last time. Buses of this kind need hydrogen to propel them. It is stored in gaseous form in tanks, mounted on the front part of the vehicle’s roof. The hydrogen buses will use a set of 70 kW fuel cells. In a hydrogen fuel cell, electricity is generated via a process of reverse electrolysis and then transferred directly to the driveline. At moments of increased demand for electricity, the fuel cell will be boosted by a Solaris High Power battery.

As with the vehicles already delivered, the newly commissioned hydrogen buses will boast the highest equipment standards available. Passengers travelling by buses operated by RVK will benefit, for example, from high-efficiency air-conditioning and an advanced passenger information system. Drivers will certainly appreciate the qualities of the MobilEyeShield+ system, detecting pedestrians and cyclists in the blind spot of the vehicle. It includes one forward-facing camera and two cameras placed on the sides of the vehicles as well as audio and visual alerts. What is more, carrier RVK has ordered a remote fleet management system called eSConnect, providing access to real-time vehicle data.

The zero-emission revolution, in which Solaris is actively partnering with hundreds of urban transport operators, is pushing ahead, winning over more and more adherents. In 2021, the manufacturer delivered a total of 54 zero-emission hydrogen buses to clients from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Currently, the company is carrying out orders for over 100 more Urbino hydrogen vehicles. Hydrogen technology has expanded the range of electric drives of Solaris and it is responding perfectly to the needs of many carriers all over Europe.