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Toyota Motor Europe strengthens strategic alliance with CaetanoBus and Finlog in fuel cell bus business

Toyota has become a shareholder of Caetano Bus and wants to sell more hydrogen buses for the European market I © Toyota/ Caetano

Toyota continues to invest in hydrogen mobility and has released a press release a few days before Christmas. Toyota Caetano Portugal (TCAP) became the direct shareholder of two Portuguese companies. The enhanced strategic alliance with bus manufacturing and sales company CaetanoBus, and Finlog, a passenger car financial service company, aims to accelerate the spread of hydrogen mobility.

As more European countries and cities announce strategic policies to promote the decarbonisation of mobility, it is expected that commercial vehicles, especially city buses will be electrified rapidly. Caetano and Toyota have already received first orders for hydrogen buses for Barcelona, Bielefeld and Niebüll (Germany) in 2020. The hydrogen bus H2.City Gold has been launched at the Busworld congress in 2019 and is available as a 10.7 and 12 meter version. We reported here.

Caetano’s hydrogen bus prototype, designed for left-hand traffic, has meanwhile been tested in Ireland. Bus Éireann operated the bus on various routes across Dublin at the end of the year.

TME (Toyota Motor Europe) will further expand its commercial zero-emission mobility by leveraging CaetanoBus’s long-standing bus business and recent strong efforts in the development and sales of zero-emission buses.

The left-door Caetano hydrogen bus, which entered service in Dublin at the end of 2020 I © Toyota/ Caetano

Already today, TME is supplying the Toyota fuel cells to Caetano and integrating it into their first hydrogen bus with a range of 400km. Triggered by this enhanced alliance, TME will initiate in the development, production and distribution of Toyota fuel cell buses to expand its zero emission mobility solutions to promote further growth of the hydrogen society.

Caetano has already delivered electric buses to Porto (picture) and Lisbon, among others I © UTM

Finlog, on the other hand, will develop a full operational lease program focused on the bus business. Using their know-how from passenger car full-service leasing, they are increasing their portfolio of zero-emission mobility solutions throughout European cities.

Successful hydrogen bus test in Dublin

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI), managed a multi week, in-service, trial of Caetano H2.CityGold in the Dublin area. The Hydrogen Mobility Ireland project is a partnership of businesses from across many sectors, together with public sector and academic stakeholders, with all-Island cooperation, joining together to deliver a coordinated approach to the introduction of this cutting-edge technology to ensure that Ireland can benefit from being an early starter in this environmental transport solution.

The hydrogen bus test in Dublin was a success I © Caetano

The H2.CityGold powered by a Toyota fuel cell stack, was the first ever Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) put into public service operation on the Island of Ireland giving real in-use information about the potential for large scale introduction of this technology in Ireland, in everyday driving conditions and at a challenging time of the year in terms of weather.

Since November the vehicle was operated in different routes by CIÉ Group bus companies, Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus as well as by Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport, although carrying limited passengers’ due to Covid’s current restrictions. Covering a total of 3000 kilometres (around 1864 miles) with a hydrogen consumption 5kg/100km based on actual operational conditions with passengers and heating, the Caetano H2.CityGold was refilled with green hydrogen (H2) produced in Dublin by BOC Gases Ireland Ltd using renewable electricity and water.