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Caetano fuel cell buses for ESWE Wiesbaden


On 5 October 2021, Wiesbaden’s municipal transport operator ESWE presented the first of ten hydrogen fuel cell buses currently on order. Nine additional vehicles are scheduled to arrive in Wiesbaden by the end of the year. According to a press release from the city of Wiesbaden, the buses were put out to tender in June 2020.

Manufacturer of the new buses is Caetano from Portugal – they deliver its „H 2 CityGold” model. According to the city’s press release, Caetano’s offer fulfilled all the desired criteria.

With the commissioning of the new fuel cell buses, the diesel propulsion is becoming less and less important mong Wiesbaden’s city transport. Elena Hof, programme manager of the hydrogen and fuel cell technology innovation programme at the federally owned “NOW GmbH”, said at the handover of the first hydrogen bus to ESWE: “Hydrogen and fuel cell technology is an important future technology for Germany as a business and mobility location. In local public transport, hydrogen propulsion is a sensible addition to battery vehicles for achieving climate targets, especially for long and topographically demanding routes.” This is an important statement, because Wiesbaden’s ESWE also rely on electric battery buses (Mercedes-Benz eCitaro).

Prof. Hermann Zemlin, Managing Director ESWE Verkehr; Jörg Gerhard, Managing Director ESWE Verkehr; Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Transport; João Caeiro, Sales Manager CaetanoBus S.A.; Elena Hof, NOW GmbH and Programme Manager NIP; Dietmar Schneider, Business Unit Manager ESWE Verkehr; Dr. Karsten McGovern, Managing Director Landesenergieagentur and Andreas Kowol, Wiesbaden’s Head of Transport (l.t.r.) | © ESWE

At their depot near Wiesbaden central station, ESWE have already had a year’s experience with a hydrogen filling station from which a rented fuel cell bus has been refueled. Therefore, they know that a refuelling process takes significantly less than 15 minutes.

Wiesbaden’s head of transport Andreas Kowol: “Today, no one can say with certainty whether hydrogen or battery buses will ultimately prevail or whether both systems have a future alongside each other.”  For this reason, ESWE is using both systems and is gathering experience with them in an open-ended manner. In any case, the goal of climate-neutral public transport is being approached.

The new fuel cell buses will preferably be used on longer routes. Their purchase has been funded with 1.95 million EUR by the European Union’s JIVE project (JIVE = Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe). Another 1.685 million EUR come from the “National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme” (NIP) of the Federal Ministry of Transport.

Technical data Caetano H 2 CityGold

Length: 11,995 mm, a shorter version with a length of 10,740 mm is also available

Width: 2,500 mm

Height: 3,458 mm

Passenger capacity: 37 seats, 39 standing = total 76 passengers, 2 folding seats,1 wheelchair space

Electric motor: Siemens permanent motor, 180 kW

Fuel cell: Toyota polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell, 60 kW

Range: 400 km

Battery: Lithium titanate, from Forsee Power, 44 kWh

Hydrogen tanks: 5 pressure cylinders made of composite, type 4, pressure: 350 bar

Hydrogen consumption: approx. 6 kg per 100 kilometres

Refuelling time: 9 minutes

Front axle: ZF RL 82 EC

Rear axle: low-floor portal axle, the bus is also available in a low-entry version

Wiesbaden’s Caetano H 2 have two doors, but a three-design is also available.

Read also our report about the order of the buses in January 2021 here:

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