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PRESS RELEASE FROM HyFLEET:CUTE CONFERENCE

22nd November 2009

Hamburg, Germany, 17th November 2009
Hydrogen Transports – Bus technology and fuel today for a sustainable future
The clean mobility revolution has undoubtedly begun, and hydrogen as a non-polluting, efficient fuel is an established feature of this revolution. Hydrogen powered buses are here and now! The European Commission co-funded HyFLEET:CUTE project has successfully operated more than 40 hydrogen powered buses over four years in 10 cities on three continents, with:
    • over 8.5 m people transported in regular public transport operation
    • more than 2.5 m km travelled, and
    • in excess of 550 thousand kg of Hydrogen safely refuelled
The impressive results presented at the conference, held in Hamburg on November 17-18 have shown that Europe is in sight of commercialisation of this leading edge technology. Today’s technology allows buses to run efficiently and cleanly on hydrogen. Crucially, the project has shown that infrastructure to produce, supply and distribute hydrogen for transport can be implemented efficiently. Mr. Jan Mücke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, said: “It is now important that we create and progress the market for new technologies in the transport sector.  We have to live up to our responsibility for tackling climate change and ensuring energy security. The hybridization of drivetrains with battery and fuel cell technology is an important milestone on this road.”
The cities involved in the project have demonstrated a range of approaches to establishing the necessary infrastructure. These varied approaches have contributed to overcoming a number of the challenges facing hydrogen powered public transport. This includes developing ways to operate the bus technology with minimal special support in a standard public transport bus fleet.
HyFLEET:CUTE has contributed to major European Union strategic objectives in different policy areas. The promotion of innovation and the creation of jobs in the renewed Lisbon Strategy is linked to programmes aiming to meet the energy and environmental targets outlined in the “20-20-20 by 2020” Energy Package. Against the background of the economic crisis, HyFLEET:CUTE has demonstrated that investment in hydrogen fuel technology pays off, and has the potential to feed into large scale job creation in Europe.
The conference concluded by setting the next challenges:
    • The use of hydrogen as a transport fuel requires a regulatory framework to ensure that hydrogen transport applications are introduced in a coordinated fashion
    • To stimulate market introduction of clean technologies, it is important to ensure that procurement decisions are based on lifecycle operation costs, not merely initial purchase costs
    • In the long term, hydrogen should be produced from renewable energy sources locally
    • The purchase price of the buses must be significantly reduced
    • Hydrogen transport projects need to move quickly from development and demonstration to large scale projects involving large fleets of buses.

Conference papers and other information released at th Conference can be found at http://www.global-hydrogen-bus-platform.com/InformationCentre/Downloads 

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