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Proton and Skoda launch triple-hybrid fuel cell bus

Fuel cell company Proton Power’s subsidiary Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH has launched a triple-hybrid fuel cell that can be used in Skoda busses.

The fuel cell vehicle is the product of a cooperation agreement between Skoda Electric, Czech research institution UJV Nuclear Research Institute Rezc, and Proton Motor. Skoda Electric was responsible for the bus, including its electric drive system and system integration, and the project was coordinated by UJV. Proton Motor supplied the triple hybrid fuel cell propulsion system.

The triple hybrid fuel cell propulsion system, which is Proton Motor’s first, has no combustion engine, and is instead a combination of fuel cells, batteries and ultra-capacitors. The system utilises the 50 kW PM Basic A 50 fuel cell system from Proton Motor, which has also been used in the fuel-cell-powered passenger ferry, the FCS Alsterwasser.

The basic vehicle is a 12 m standard bus with a total permissible weight of 18 tonnes, common in urban transport systems. The propulsion system’s nominal output is 120 kW (163 HP) and its maximum speed is 65 km/h, while its maximum range during urban transport is more than 250 km per tank.

The bus is filled with 20 kg of gaseous hydrogen at 350 bar, and the filling process takes less than 10 minutes. The vehicle is expected to go into operation in and around Prague from mid-2009 onwards.

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