Amsterdam tests hydrogen-fuelled buses
15 December 2003
AMSTERDAM — Three city buses will operate using only hydrogen as their fuel, instead of the environmentally-damaging diesel, in a new public transport initiative unveiled in Amsterdam on Monday.
Transport Minister Karla Peijs launched the trial project that will see three buses powered by electricity created by a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The chemical reaction takes place in a special fuel cell unit fitted on top of the bus.
The advantage of the system is that no environmentally-damaging products are released and the bus will only jettison steam. Furthermore, supplies of hydrogen are found in abundance.
The new Amsterdam transport authority (GVB) buses will be easily detected. They have nine hydrogen tanks on their roof and are thus quite high. The buses will only operate on a couple of routes in Amsterdam North, lines 35 and 38. Each hydrogen tank has enough gas for a journey of 250km.
The experiment, which will continue for two years, will cost EUR 7 million. Part of the costs are being funded by the European Union, while the Dutch Transport Ministry and Amsterdam Council will also contribute.
Car manufacturer DaimlerChrysler built the buses and power company Nuon, gas and equipment supplier Hoek Loos, petroleum multinational Shell and the Netherlands Agency for Energy and the Environment (Novem) are also involved in the project, an NOS news report said.
But residents who live near the depot where the buses, the hydrogen production unit and the oxygen refilling station will be located are concerned for possible explosions. Research has indicated, however, that the risks are negligible and extra safety precautions have been taken.
If the experiment is successful, the GVB expects that the new buses will become the norm come 2010. Other European cities have also started such experiments.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news