The CHIC Project

Between 2010 and 2016 56 hydrogen buses with fuel cell have been – as part of the CHIC project (Clean Hydrogen in European Cities) - a regular part of the public transport system in London, Aargau, Bozen/Bolzano, Milan, Oslo, Hamburg, Cologne and Whistler. In parallel, the necessary hydrogen refuelling stations have been opened and successfully operated. These electric buses with fuel cell have been manufactured and maintained by 6 different producers.

This project has shown that fuel cell buses can substitute conventional diesel buses, as they offer the same level of flexibility and efficiency, with zero emission. It can therefore be said, that the technology has already reached the necessary level for broader application. Now it is important to focus on the commercialisation of the buses, and to level the life cycle costs of a hydrogen bus to those of a diesel bus by augmenting the numbers through a European purchase policy.

South Tyrol was represented by the STA Südtiroler Transportstrukturen AG in this project. The 5 fuel cell buses were employed by SASA in the Bolzano urban transport, 12 hours a day, 6 days per week. From November 2013 until the end of 2016 these buses made about 630,000 km, saving 270.000l of diesel. Therefore, the Bolzano population was spared the emission of 252.63kg NOx, 577,893.87 kg CO2 and 3.79kg of particulate matter. The IIT was the infrastructure partner in this project, as it produced local and green hydrogen guaranteeing a true zero emission deployment of the buses in Bozen.
Even after the end of the CHIC-project the buses are continuing to be a successful part of the daily public transport system in Bolzano.  

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This project has been supported by the EU through the FCH JU (Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaken) program. The FCH JU is a public-private cooperation between the European Commission and actors from industry and research, which aims at bringing the hydrogen technology on the market.