Management & Operations

Icelandic hydrogen bus program aims to convert fleets

Posted on May 1, 2006

Three city buses, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, have been zipping around the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland, for three years. The vehicles are part of a promising project to expand the use of alternative fuels in the country’s public bus system. The three vehicles, manufactured by EvoBus, fuel up for the day’s run at the city’s hydrogen fuel station, the world’s first, which was opened by Shell Hydrogen in 2003. Hydrogen is separated from water on site, using electricity from the main grid, then compressed into a gas, and runs underground to the pump. The use of hydrogen was first prompted by Bragi Arnason, a chemistry professor at the University of Iceland. In the 1970s, Arnason, became concerned with the high percentage of imported fossil fuels and began discussions about hydrogen as an alternative fuel. He caught the attention of a government official and the Daimler- Chrysler Corp. The result of those talks was the formation of a new company, Icelandic New Energy (INE), in 1999. Partner companies include Daimler- Chrysler, the Norwegian company Norsk Hydro, VistOrka, a holding company for the Icelandic shareholders, and Shell Hydrogen. All of the partners participated in providing funding for the new company. The ECTOS (Ecological City Transport System) bus project, as it is called, was initiated by INE and also includes the participation of the University of Iceland, the University of Stuttgart, IceTec, (Technological Institute of Iceland) and the government of Iceland. INE intends to convert all buses, private vehicles and the country’s entire fishing fleet to hydrogen fuel cells within the next 40 years. There is broad citizen and government support and optimal conditions for the project. Hydrogen is produced with clean electricity since 70% of Iceland’s energy comes from the bountiful water and steam heat just below the surface of this volcanic island. The use of fossil fuel to produce hydrogen would reduce efficiency. Arnason believes that other alternative sources of energy, solar or bio-mass, can be used. The export of excess sustainable energy produced in Iceland, where only 10% is used, is also a future consideration. While running the buses on hydrogen systems is five times more costly than running a similar system on gasoline, the project was intended to improve and test the performance of the buses, said Professor Thorsteinn Sigfusson, a former INE chairman. “When hydrogen is used to power PEM fuel cells, the energy efficiency is two times higher than when fuel is used to power internal combustion engines,” said Arnason.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

L.A. Metro reconsidering selling naming rights for trains, stations

Since board approval in December, the staff received new information from the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office saying corporate naming decisions by Metro could lead to free speech entanglements

Metra chief Orseno to retire in December 2017

Orseno began his career in 1974 as a ticket collector on Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad commuter trains.

WSP | PB taps Werkmeister as nat'l strategic pursuit manager

She has 27 years of business development, marketing and sales experience, and has successfully led major strategic campaigns for large infrastructure pursuits across Southern California.

Cubic names Walker Ford VP/GM of Eastern region, Americas

This region includes Miami where the EASY Card revenue management system has become a major Cubic project, which recently expanded under a $33 million contract for upgrades to cloud-based services supporting mobile- and open-payment technologies.

New GSA partnership to reduce D.C. Metro energy costs

The partnership lowers Metro’s electricity supply rate within the District, and is expected to save the authority more than $1 million per year compared with existing supply rates.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close