Shell Hydrogen, in partnership with Connexxion Holding and MAN Truck & Bus Company, has announced plans to work towards creating the world’s largest hydrogen-fuelled public transport operation in Rotterdam. The project aims to have the biggest hydrogen bus fleet operational in a single region before the end of the decade.
Shell Hydrogen and its partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to conduct an in-depth economic and technical study of the project and to seek additional stakeholders, before making a possible investment decision in 2007.
Under the proposed scheme more than 20 hydrogen internal combustions engine buses manufactured by the bus builder MAN Nutzfahrzeuge and its subsidiary NEOMAN Bus, will be operated by Connexxion, one of the main Dutch public transport companies. Buses will be fuelled from a Shell combined gasoline-hydrogen service station, the first in the Netherlands. The station is expected to be built and the buses operational by 2009. The same service station will also sell traditional fuels to ordinary motorists.
The five-year project will evaluate public reaction as well as the reliability and economics of using hydrogen to fuel public transport in major urban areas. It will also help to establish technical standards for operating hydrogen fuel outlets.
The Rotterdam project follows a successful three-year trial in Amsterdam, where Shell Hydrogen together with partners worked on the infrastructure and operation of three fuel cell hydrogen buses. In addition to being the country’s second largest city and one of the main ports in Europe, Rotterdam offers an opportunity to capitalise on a well-developed existing hydrogen infrastructure for industrial applications.