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Sustainability Assessment of Fuel Cell Buses in Public Transport


Hydrogen fuel cell (H2FC) buses operating in every day public transport services around Europe are assessed for their sustainability against environmental, economic and social criteria. As part of this assessment the buses are evaluated against diesel buses both in terms of sustainability and in terms of meeting real world requirements with respect to operational performance. The study concludes that H2FC buses meet operability and performance criteria and are sustainable environmentally when ‘green’ hydrogen is used. The economic sustainability of the buses, in terms of affordability, achieves parity with their fossil fuel equivalent by 2030 when the indirect costs to human health and climate change are included. Societal acceptance by those who worked with and used the buses supports the positive findings of earlier studies, although satisfactory operability and performance are shown to be essential to positive attitudes. Influential policy makers expressed positive sentiments only if ‘green’ hydrogen is used and the affordability issues can be addressed. No “show-stopper” is identified that would prevent future generations from using H2FC buses in public transport on a broad scale due to damage to the environment or to other factors that impinge on quality of life.

Funding source: The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative, under grant agreement number 256848.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Germany

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