Two hydrogen buses in public service at Keolis 2018-2020

Report on 2 hydrogen buses in public service at Keolis

Apeldoorn (NL) – 1 September 2018/1 October 2020

For 2 years the province of Gelderland accommodates a fuel cell hydrogen project with 2 buses in public transportation. The project is initiated by ZETT, Keolis and HyMove and funded by the province of Gelderland. Keolis is a public transport company operating bus and passenger train services in the Netherlands.  ZETT is the leasing company that leases two hydrogen buses to Keolis for a fixed price per kilometre, including service, maintenance and hydrogen consumption. HyMove is the supplier of the very efficient and reliable Fuel Cell systems, powering the buses. Using their long experience in heavy duty power trains, HyMove also provides technical and organisational support to guarantee the highest availability of the buses.

The hydrogen buses are in daily operation from the Keolis Syntus site in Apeldoorn. The buses are operated on inner-city and regional bus lines, connecting Apeldoorn to surrounding cities as  Zwolle, Harderwijk, Amersfoort, Veenendaal and Arnhem. Distance from Apeldoorn to the other cities is around 40 km. The operation varies between 270 and 440km’s per day with an average speeds up to 50 km/hr. On the motor way, the speed is 85 km/hr.

Regular maintenance is executed by the Syntus workshop in Zwolle with specialistic support of HyMove.

The report shows that the hydrogen buses chosen by Keolis can be used in public transport without any problems. With their long range and short refuelling times, the hydrogen buses form a one-to-one substitution for diesel or CNG buses. The flexible employability in public service means that these buses can operate without any adjustment to the timetable.

The very efficient HyMove Fuel Cell systems gives the fuel cell Solbus at Keolis a hydrogen consumption of 5.9 kg/100km irrespective the season. For the Ursus bus, consumption in the winter months is 2.2 kg/100 km higher due to the use of the electric heater. Consumption is approx. 40% lower (4 kg/100 km) than for the hydrogen buses referred to in the final report of the European project HIGH V.LO-CITY, with information about projects in various European cities. The low hydrogen consumption ensures that the TCO is low enough to make switching from conventional buses to hydrogen affordable.

Main conclusions of the operation of the 2 hydrogen buses between September 2018 and October 2020:

  • Keolis Syntus appreciates the deployment of the two hydrogen buses. The buses are fit for use in both regional and city traffic.
  • Maintenance and repair is around 4%, so that the total availability of the buses amounts up to 96%.
  • Maintenance cost are around 0,25 euro/km, which is well below the target levels set in European subsidy programs such as JIVE
  • Hydrogen consumption is low; for the Solbus consumption is 5.9 kg/100km throughout the year, the consumption of the Ursus bus is average 6.3 kg/100km. In wintertime one of the buses shows a higher consumption due to the electric heating of the passenger compartment. The other bus uses the waste heat of the Fuel Cell systems to heat the passenger compartment. This bus shows the low hydrogen consumption year-round, independent of the ambient temperature (see below diagram).
  • Drivers are enthusiastic about the driving characteristics of the hydrogen buses. The buses are easy to use and drivers enjoy saving energy by recuperative braking instead of mechanical braking.

If you have interest to read more about this project we can supply you with the official report. Please send your request to and whether you would like to receive a Dutch or English version.

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