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Hyundai Elec City: DB Regio is testing a Korean hydrogen bus

© BRN/Tobias Hummel

DB (Deutsche Bahn AG) is getting serious about alternative drives for its bus operations around the country. Just a few days ago, on 12 November 2021, DB Regio Bus, the bus division of DB, presented a test bus with hydrogen drive. The vehicle of Portuguese manufacturer Caetano’s  “H 2 City Gold” model was used by the city bus Dormagen, for which DB Regio Bus provides the vehicles together with its subsidiary “Busverkehr Rheinland (BVR)”. UTM reported here. https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/a-hydrogen-bus-for-dormagen/

Only one week later, DB Regio Bus again informed about the test deployment of a hydrogen bus, this time a South Korean Hyundai of the  “Elec City” model. A bus from South Korea? From Hyundai? Is this manufacturer not known in Germany as a company that builds private cars and vans? Obviously Hyundai’s product portfolio is larger, although the Koreans have not offered any “full-fledged” commercial vehicle on (Western) Europe market.

The test vehicle was used by the DB subsidiary BRN (Busverkehr Rhein – Neckar). There, it ran not least on Heidelberg’s city line 34, on which buses of the DB (at that time still under the nationwide name “Bahnbus”) were already on the road in the seventies on behalf of the former “Heidelberger Straßen- und Bergbahnen (HSB)”.

On line 34 in Heidelberg | © BRN Busverkehr Rhein-Neckar GmbH

For the Hyundai bus, Heidelberg was not its first stop in Germany. When the “IAA mobility” took place in Munich in September, a shuttle service with buses with alternative drives was offered to the trade fair. And one of the vehicles on the road was the Hyundai. Even before that and before its test at BRN in Heidelberg, the demonstration H2-bus was already on test at the private bus companies Josef Ettenhuber from Glonn and Geldhauser from Brunnthal, both not far away from Munich. On its homepage, Hyundai states: “The test operation is intended to prove that hydrogen-powered buses represent a practicable and effective solution for commercial passenger transport. In South Korea, 108 Hyundai Elec City have already been in operation since 2019. They have avoided 7,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions compared to diesel buses.”

And Hyundai continues, “The field tests help us further develop our vehicles to meet the needs of our European customers.”

Hyundai is currently working with Austrian energy company ÖMV to fuel its hydrogen demonstration bus here in Germany. It will certainly not stop there, although ÖMV is so far only present in the south of Germany.

     (Gallery click to open)

Technical data Hyundai Elec City

Length: 10,990 mm

Width: 2,500 mm

Height: 3,420 mm

Electric motor: ZF central motor, 180 kW

Intermediate storage battery: Cell chemistry: lithium polymer, storage capacity: 78 kWh

Fuel cell: 180-kW high-performance fuel cell system from Hyundai, composed by two 90 kW fuel cells, long-life hydrogen diffusion layer and electrolyte membrane

Hydrogen tank: capacity: 37.5 kg (gross), distributed in five pressurised cylinders on the roof

© BRN Busverkehr Rhein-Neckar GmbH / Tobias Hummel
© BRN Busverkehr Rhein-Neckar GmbH / Tobias Hummel
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