Brussels, 18 Jan 2005
Fuel cell buses developed within the CUTE project, funded under the EU's Fifth Framework Programme, have been operating for over a year in ten European cities, as well as Perth in Australia.
In London alone, the fleet of three buses travelled over 37,000 km and were on the road for 3,400 hours during their first year of operation. They also excelled in reliability, according to Transport for London.
'London Buses regards the first year of the two-year fuel cell bus project a great success. The buses have excelled in reliability and have been very popular with passengers who have appreciated the amazing environmental benefits of fuel cell technology and the quiet, smooth ride the buses offer,' said Mike Weston, Director of Operations at London Buses.
These trials are a positive indication that hydrogen fuel cells could offer an alternative to diesel in the future,' Mr Weston added. 'The high cost of the vehicles is the major barrier at the moment, but providing the government continues to provide support for this promising technology, it could be a viable option for the future,' he said.
The buses have proved popular with passengers and drivers alike. Driver of one of the buses, Sultan Dar, says that he is often asked about the benefits of the fuel cell bus, and that his passengers are always supportive of the trial. 'I am very proud to be an essential part of this trial as this technology will benefit our environment substantially - it's something I'll tell the grandkids about!' said Mr Dar.
London was one of the nine original partners in the project, which was extended with the signing up of Reykjavik in Iceland and Perth in Australia. The other partners are: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Porto, Stockholm and Stuttgart.
The aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative, high-energy efficient, clean urban public transport system. Trials in different cities will lead to improved understanding of the fuel cell bus' ability to operate in different temperatures, topographies and congestion levels.
For further information on the CUTE project, please