When: 4 November, 2010

CHIC, the Clean Hydrogen in European Cities Project, is the essential next step to full market commercialization of hydrogen powered fuel cell (H2FC) buses. The project will facilitate the integration of 26 H2FC buses in daily operations and busroutes in five cities across Europe. Supported by transport authorities in Aargau (Switzerland), Bolzano (Italy), London (GB), Milan (Italy), and Oslo (Norway) and the EU Joint Undertaking for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH JU), The project is based on a staged introduction and build-up of H2FC bus fleets, the supporting hydrogen refuelling stations and infrastructure to facilitate the smooth integration of the H2FC buses in Europe’s public transport.

The CHIC Kick off event took place on November 4 , 2010 in Cologne.:  26 partners signed the CHIC Mission Statement, commiting to put 26 fuel cell hybride buses in regular service by 2012.  The presentations from the event may be found below.

The project will link experienced and new cities in partnerships, allowing for an effective and smooth introduction of the new systems now and into the future. In addition, the project will tie in with similar projects fully funded from other sources, thereby multiplying the impact of the FCH JU program. The project seeks to leverage the results of previous projects through the involvement of so-called Phase 0 partners in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Whistler (Canada), bringing in their experiences gained from earlier operation of fuel cell buses in their public transport fleets.

After the successful field-test of first and second generation H2FC buses within the projects  CUTE and HyFLEET:CUTE, CHIC moves further ahead with the deployment of the latest generation of fuel cell hybrid (FCH) buses in preparation for market introduction. The buses will be supplied by Mercedes-Benz Buses, Wright and Van Hool.

The hydrogen refuelling infrastructure will involve the main industrial players, active in hydrogen infrastructure development in Europe: Shell, Total, Vattenfall, Air Products, Linde and Air Liquide.

The project will guide 14 additional regions in Europe – the Phase 2 partners – in their first fleet application of H2FC buses in public transport from 2012 onwards, in cooperation with the European Regions and Municipalities Partnership for hydrogen and fuel cells (HyRAMP).

An important part of the project will cover environmental, economic and social assessments regarding the use of hydrogen powered buses. Hydrogen as an energy carrier, like electricity, can be produced by various primary energy sources, including renewable energy. Fuel cells, as electric power systems, using hydrogen as a fuel and emitting only water vapour, will therefore play an important role in the reduction of local air pollutants, as well as in the decarbonization of Europe’s transport system. Fuel cells are able to power larger vehicles such as heavy duty, SUV’s and buses and can offer considerable operating range.