The last development in this front is the inclusion of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid in the Clean Hydrogen in European Cities project (CHIC), which will kick off in Cologne on November 4.
The project is funded by the European Union and will include at least three manufacturers, the aforementioned Daimler, Van Hool and Wrightbus. The goal is to see how a gradual introduction of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell buses can be made and what that would mean for the infrastructure.
After Cologne, the project will be enriched with the addition of Aarau, Bolzano, Milan, London and Oslo. The new research will build on the findings of previous similar projects, like the CUTE and HyFLEET:CUTE, which ran from 2003 to 2009.
Daimler is perhaps the most experienced of the three manufacturers taking part, having tested so far 36 Citaro buses which use a second generation fuel-cell. Combined, the buses tested by Daimler clocked 140,000 operating hours and over 2.2 million kilometres (1.36 million miles).
The Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid shares with the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid the axles fitted with electric hub motors, lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, and all electrically powered auxiliary components. The fuel cell systems used is the same with those installed in the Mercedes-Benz B-Klasse F-CELL passenger car.