On November 12th, 2014 at the 7th Stakeholder Forum of the "Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking" (FCH JU), representatives from five major European bus manufacturers signed a Letter of Understanding outlining their commitment towards the commercialization and deployment of fuel cell buses.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – On November 12th, 2014 at the 7th Stakeholder Forum of the "Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking" (FCH JU), representatives from five major European bus manufacturers signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) outlining their commitment towards the commercialization and deployment of fuel cell buses in urban public transport. Participating bus manufacturers were Daimler Buses (EvoBus), MAN, Solaris Bus & Coach, Van Hool and VDL Bus & Coach.
Also participating in the ceremony were the Mayoral offices of two major European cities at the forefront of clean energy public transportation: Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of the City of Hamburg; and Kit Malthouse, London's Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise. This is the first time that representatives from municipalities in Europe have publicly committed to fuel cell technology together with bus manufacturers.
As part of the LOU, the signing bus OEM's anticipate that in the 2017-20 period around 500-to-1,000 fuel cell buses can be put into service in urban centers across Europe. Each of the manufacturers intends to independently develop, demonstrate and offer products in accordance with this timeframe.
"We applaud the strong leadership shown by all the OEM signatories to this Letter of Understanding and by the cities of Hamburg and London," said Randy MacEwen, Ballard's President and CEO, who attended the ceremony. "The LOU represents an important and positive step towards the exciting future of fuel cell-powered public transportation in Europe, where clean energy solutions are a clear priority. At Ballard, we continue to supply leading fuel cell modules for integration into buses designed to address the operational needs of urban service – including flexibility, operating range and reliability – at an acceptable premium relative to other cleaner energy alternatives."
Ballard is currently working with three of the participating bus manufacturers, Van Hool, Solaris and VDL Bus & Coach. By the end of 2014 the Company expects to be powering approximately 40 fuel cell buses in Europe, estimated to be 80% of the total installed base of fuel cell buses operating there.
The stated volumes in the LOU represent a significant step forward from the current scale of deployments. These increased volumes of fuel cell-powered buses would support cost and price reductions through economies-of-scale, enabling fuel cell solutions to compete more effectively with incumbent transit technologies.
Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.