Hírek > News Library > World premiere: VDL Bus & Coach delivers the first 18-metre fuel cell vehicles

World premiere: VDL Bus & Coach delivers the first 18-metre fuel cell vehicles

During the past half year a total of four 18-metre fuel cell powered Phileases have been delivered. Two were delivered to public transport company RVK in Cologne (Germany) in May, and two to GVB, the municipal transport company of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), in August. In fact, this was a double world premiere, because these were not only the first fuel cell Phileases but also the first 18-metre fuel cell vehicles. Until now, the largest fuel cell buses ever built had a length of 13.5 metres.

Technical innovation – good for the environment
The development of these fuel cell Phileases began in 2008in connection with the Dutch government’s innovation programme ‘The car of the future will drive’. This programme was initiated to speed up the introduction of innovations for quiet, clean, efficient, smart and safe mobility in the Netherlands. The development of a fuel cell Phileas matches the objectives of this programme and provides a contribution to sustainable vehicle innovation.
A collaborative partnership between the Dutch national government and the government of the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany to stimulate technical innovation for environmentally responsible public transport led to the combination of two projects, resulting in the construction of four fuel cell Phileases: two for GVB in Amsterdam and two for RVK in Cologne.
The energy storage in the Phileases is realised through use of a combination of supercapacitors and a battery system. A vehicle powered by hydrogen may be labelled a ‘zero emission’ vehicle – there are no harmful emissions, after all, because the exhaust consists of nothing but pure water. An additional environmentally-friendly aspect of the new generation of fuel cell systems is the greatly reduced energy consumption. Moreover, they hardly produce any noise.



Phileas

The Phileas was chosen as the platform for the development of the first 18-metre fuel cell vehicle because the Phileas has an exceptionally light construction. Normally speaking, the installation of the still relatively heavy fuel cell system leads to the loss of seating and/or standing space, because the maximum allowable weight would otherwise be exceeded. With the Phileas, however, there is no need to make concessions in terms of passenger capacity. Depending on the final interior configuration of the vehicle, this can be up to 105 passengers (at 4 persons per m²). The Phileas also has a futuristic, cutting-edge appearance perfectly suited to this innovative project.

RVK and GVB
In Cologne, following an extensive pre-test phase, the fuel cell Phileases were put into scheduled service for regional and city transport at the beginning of September 2011 for five years of testing.
In Amsterdam the vehicles will begin regular service in the autumn of 2011 for a two-year test and demonstration phase. The hydrogen used for the vehicles in Cologne is generated as a waste product by a local chemical company. Amsterdam produces its hydrogen through electrolysis.

Partners
· Advanced Public Transport Systems bv (APTS) of Helmond (The Netherlands) is responsible for the production of the Phileases, the integration of the various systems in the vehicles and the delivery. APTS is a division of VDL Bus & Coach bv.
· Vossloh Kiepe GmbH of Düsseldorf (Germany) is responsible for the hybrid drive including energy storage and for the energy management.
· Ballard Power Systems Inc. (Canada) is responsible for the development and delivery of the fuel cell systems.
· Hoppecke Batterien GmbH of Brilon (Germany) is responsible for the development and delivery of the batteries and the Battery Management System (BMS) for all the Phileases.

The ‘Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen’ and ‘Fachhochschule Köln’ universities are also participating in the project. Students at these universities are mainly involved in analysing the performance of the energy management and battery systems and are providing reports.

Valkenswaard, október 2011


VDL Bus & Coach bv
Marleen van Zeeland
Communications
+31 (0)40 208 44 14
m.van.zeeland@vdlbuscoach.com

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