European fuel cell buss project

Today I went to a presentation by the Stockholm consortium (page in Swedish) which are testing fuel cell busses for public transport in Stockholm. The consortium is part of the European project Clear Urban Partners for Transport (CUTE), which we have written about before. The meeting was well attended with nearly 80 people from Swedish local government, energy companies, universities, automotive manufacturing and others.
The three busses in Stockholm are in regular traffic on line 66 and have according to everyone involved behaved above expectations. The only drawback is that it hasn’t been really cold yet in Stockholm this winter, so they haven’t been able to test the cold weather performance as much as they have wanted to do. The Swedish part of the project is due to shut down at the end of the year, after two years of testing and the Stockholm public transport (SL) says that DaimlerChrysler expect to have a serial production buss on offer to replace these busses in another three to five years. The current busses are essentially pilot project platforms and not designed from the ground up to be as efficient as possible. Improvements which were discussed were battery / fuel cell hybrid technology which would allow the busses to significantly benefit from the start stop nature of urban buss transport, as well as power-train upgrades to remove inefficiencies.