The public transit system of Norway is heading for a high-tech upgrade as plans have been announced to power buses with hydrogen fuel cells. Ballard Power Systems, a leading developer in fuel cells, has been called upon to provide the fuel cells for buses operated by HyNor Oslo Buss Group.
Ballard’s module, the FCvelovity, is a sixth generation fuel cell that comes in both 75kW and 150kW ratings.
The buses are slated to be used for regular passenger service by the end of the year. Ballard will furnish the Rosenholm bus depot with a hydrogen fueling station to accommodate the buses. The fleet of buses will operate nearly 20,000 hours per bus for nearly 10 years. The entire project has been funded by the Norwegian state and municipal governments.
Both diesel and hybrid engines are currently being used in the public transit system. Both engine types are cleaner than conventional engines but still emit greenhouse gases. The hydrogen powered variants are guaranteed to be 100% greenhouse gas emission free as they will draw upon sustainable energies to generate power.
Instituting hydrogen fuel cells into public transport is a big step forward for nations that are environmentally conscious. With fossil-fuels as a finite resource, new alternatives must be found to sustain the future. Hydrogen is the primary candidate, as it is the most abundant known element and can be produced from water molecules.
More nations are beginning to utilize hydrogen fuel and Norway is following the trend, hoping to prove that hydrogen is viable for public transport.