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International Zero Emission Bus Conference and International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop take place in London

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The first edition of the International Zero Emission Bus Conference (ZEBC) took place on 30 November 2016 in City Hall, London, followed by the 10th edition of the International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop (FCBW) on 1st December 2016. The events were organised by Element Energy in collaboration with the USA-based Centre for Transportation and the Environment.

Over 250 high level stakeholders from 22 countries attended the events. Representatives from local authorities, transit operators, industry, and national and financial regulatory and funding agencies held lively discussions around zero emission bus (ZEB) technologies’ readiness levels and commercialisation paths. It was agreed unanimously that ZEB technologies are ready to be deployed globally today.

All presentations and the full programme are available here.

ZEBC – Key Takeaways:

  • Industry, public sector players, and operators increasingly appreciate the value of both air quality and economics as drivers for deployments of ZEBs.
  • Major cities are committed to phasing out conventional buses and deploying ZEBs before 2025.
  • Today bus manufacturers have commercially available ZEBs using battery or/and fuel cell technology with 12 m, 18 m articulated and double decker vehicle offer,
  • Over 80,000 ZEBs are in commercial operation worldwide.
  • Battery electric buses (BEBs) and fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) are both electric drive vehicles with many parts in common. They complement each other offering bus operator flexibility based on their operational requirements.
  • Charging (depot or en-route) and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure solutions exist today to meet operational requirements.
  • Combining multiple advanced transportation technologies such as autonomous vehicles, emissions reductions, and mobility on demand cohesively and strategically is the way of the future.
  • FCEB offer a direct diesel drop in – able to perform 18 hour non-stop service and refuel in less than five minutes.
  • BEB offer energy savings of 80% (4 MPG diesel = 10 kWh/mi vs. 2 kWh/mile for BEB).
  • Globally, fleets will evolve from an average of less than 1.5% electric drive today to an average of 41.5% electric drive in 2025.

FCBW – Key Takeaways:

  • Over 100 fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) are currently in commercial operation worldwide with over 11 million km of service.
  • 200 additional FCEBs will be deployed in Europe and US in next 2 to 3 years.
  • FCEBs have demonstrated availability ranging from 75% to 95% in the US and EU.
  • FCB costs have decreased by 75% since 1990s.
  • Transit agencies/bus operators currently operating FCEBs today are looking at expanding their fleet in the near future.
  • FCEBs are used today by operators like direct replacement of conventional buses offering the same flexibility.
  • Hydrogen infrastructure solutions are scalable – up to 100 buses exist today. Stakeholders agreed that there is a need to continue global cooperation in order to drive down costs and share experience and best practices.
  • Regulations and incentives are needed to promote the uptake of FCEBs.
  • Areas for improvement – bus and infrastructure cost, aftersales support (spare part cost and availability, troubleshooting), servicing by bus operators (training programs), support funding and regulations.
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