Prague approves hydrogen bus trial

Prague approves hydrogen bus trial

DPP will deploy the vehicle in the second half

On February 21, the Czech capital approved the project of Prague Public Transit (DPP) to test a hydrogen bus. As part of this project, the company will deploy the bus on line 170, connecting Jižní město and Barrandov, in the second half of 2022 for a period of 2 years.

Sustainable mobility

In a press release, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib praised the trial, noting that it is an important step in ensuring sustainable urban mobility. Moreover, he revealed that around 50% of the capital’s population currently depends on public transport to get around the city.

DPP Chairman and CEO Petr Witowski commented on Prague’s public transport, sharing that electric traction (e.g. metro and trams) accounts for around 75%. As electric buses and battery-powered trolleybuses are on the increase, this percentage is expected to increase further in the future. While this is good news in terms of sustainability, Witowski explains that DPP needs to invest in diversification:

“We also need to consider energy security so that we can provide public transport even in crisis situations, such as metro, tram or train interruptions, power outages, etc. For this reason, we must retain at least 25% of the fleet. independent of the charging infrastructure. In addition to diesel or hybrid vehicles, hydrogen could help.

Are the high costs worth it?

Although the hydrogen bus is emission-free and sustainable, it will be expensive to operate. On its website, the municipality reveals that DPP estimates that the vehicle’s average annual mileage will be around 50,000 kilometres. Going further, he predicts that the price of hydrogen will be around 300 CZK (12.25 EUR) per kilogram, with the vehicle using 10 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 kilometres.

The acquisition cost of the bus will also be high, costing 4 times more than that of a diesel bus. Beyond that, it is important to highlight another significant cost: the construction of a hydrogen filling station, which will take place this year.

“In two years, we will know if the current high price of this technology will be worth the silent and emission-free operation. In any case, we [the city] will only pay the costs associated with its operation within the framework of the tests”, shared Adam Scheinherr, deputy mayor responsible for transport and chairman of the DPP supervisory board.

Berta D. Wells