Barclay Davies, Director for Bus Users, Wales, joined TrawsCymru for the trial and gives his thoughts on the H2.City Gold
With a Welsh Government target for all Wales buses to be zero emission by 2028, TrawsCymru recently trialled a Hydrogen Bus on their T5 route between Aberystwyth and Cardigan. The vehicle on trial was a Caetano H2.City Gold vehicle that had come direct from their factory in Portugal.
The vehicle is designed for urban routes and the seats with minimal padding on this demonstration vehicle proved to be challenging on a long run. Having said that, the batteries, hydrogen tanks and the fuel cell stack are located on the roof to optimise the interior space making it wider and the vehicle certainly felt light and airy inside with capacity for up to 64 passengers. Itâ€™s possible to locate the ramp at the centre doors making access to the wheelchair/buggy space accessible, quick and easy.
The vehicle was eerily quiet inside, made with environmentally friendly and recyclable materials and has an estimated range of 400km. Fitted with regenerative breaking, on the return journey (80 miles) from Aberystwyth to Cardigan the vehicle used just 30% of its fuel.
There is some debate as to whether hydrogen is actually low emission as steam is considered by some as a greenhouse gas. Itâ€™s good to see manufacturers developing alternatives to diesel powered buses and coaches and only time will tell whether this will be the future of public transport. Innovation doesnâ€™t come cheap at Â£500k per vehicle plus the cost of supporting infrastructure so it may be some time before we see more hydrogen buses on our roads.