Hydrogen technologies

engineThe first hydrogen-propelled bus in the Czech Republic is being developed at Škoda Electric a.s. in cooperation with foreign partners. Its concept is based on trolley buses produced by the same manufacturer. The main power source is a fuel cell with secondary traction batteries and ultra-capacitors. Hydrogen is stored on the vehicle’s roof in high-pressure containers. A control system allows for energy recovery in secondary resources and its reuse during acceleration. Board indicators will also include a presentation for passengers that will provide an easy-to-understand explanation of the function of individual components and at the same time will display the instant and overall savings of pollutant emissions. The bus will be operated within the public mass transport system in Neratovice, where the first Czech hydrogen filling station will be put into operation for this purpose. The main partner is Linde Gas a.s., which will provide fuel supplies in the future.

Determinants

Barriers

  • lack of the H2 pumping stations
  • completely new technology with high investment costs

Drivers

  • increasing need for cleaner vehicles with low fuel consumption
  • profit from commercialisation

Sustainability effects

Use of hydrogen drives means almost zero gas emissions. For example, a twelve cylinder engine in a BMW Hydrogen 7 vehicle, which allows for the combustion of hydrogen and petrol, produces only 5.2 grams of CO2 per kilometre if fuelled by hydrogen.

The use of hydrogen drives currently has many technical problems starting with the need to liquidize hydrogen and keep it in liquid state. In the Czech Republic, the gradual expansion of the use of hydrogen drives is planned over the long-term. As with other alternative fuels, legislative support, the selection of vehicles and the establishment of sufficient infrastructure is necessary.

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