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First hybrid fuel cell bus unveiled for new fleet in Hamburg

The new Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid bus has made its first appearance in its future operating location of Hamburg in Germany. From next year the Hamburg transit agency will operate 10 of these fuel cell hybrid buses, as well as 20 Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL fuel cell cars.

From next year, 10 of the 30 hybrid fuel cell buses that Daimler Buses is producing for European transport operators are destined for the Hamburg transport authority, Hamburger Hochbahn.

The Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid bus is taking part in large-scale fleet trials which are due to take place in Hamburg and other European cities. This is a follow-up to the successful European Commission-supported CUTE and HyFLEET:CUTE projects, which ran between 2003 and 2009.

In the HyFLEET:CUTE project, a total of 36 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses equipped with the second-generation fuel cell drive system have performed outstandingly for 12 public transport agencies on three continents, including Hamburger Hochbahn. In more than 140 000 hours of operation, during which they covered a total of more than 2.2 million kilometers, these Mercedes-Benz fuel cell buses have demonstrated their ability to function reliably under widely varying operating conditions.

The Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid bus and B-Class F-CELL car both follow the cost-effective principle of using common parts. Components such as the PEM fuel cell stacks can be used as modules for both cars and commercial vehicles. For example, the new Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid fuel cell bus is powered by two fuel cell systems of the same type as used in the B-Class F-CELL.

Improved fuel cell components and hybridization with lithium-ion batteries, mean that the Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid consumes almost 50% less hydrogen compared to the previous generation of fuel cell buses. The operating range of the new fuel cell bus is around 250 km.

In this latest large-scale project for the use of fuel cell technology in Hamburg, Daimler is cooperating with the city council as well as Shell, Total and Vattenfall Europe. The aim is to accelerate the creation of a zero-emissions vehicle fleet, and establish an appropriate infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations.

The project is part of the Clean Energy Partnership in Hamburg and Berlin. It is being supported by the federal German government, as part of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).

As part of this cooperation, four public hydrogen fueling stations are to be constructed in Hamburg, enabling fuel cell cars to be refueled within minutes. The cars’ high hydrogen pressure of 700 bar means that their operating range will exceed 400 km, make these fuel cell cars fully suited to long-distance operations.

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