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Wiener Linien converts its first line to hydrogen buses

Testing in Vienna | © Wiener Linien

Wiener Linien recently opened the new competence centre for electromobility and completely converted the first two lines to large e-buses, and the next step is now the result of the Europe-wide H2 bus tender. The Portuguese manufacturer CaetanoBus, together with Toyota, emerged as the best bidder in the multi-stage process. Wiener Linien will receive ten “H2.City Gold” buses in the course of 2025, which will be powered by Toyota fuel cell technology. The twelve-metre-long, barrier-free buses will be refuelled at the hydrogen filling station operated by Wien Energie and Wiener Netzen at the Leopoldau bus garage. The local transport company will thus utilise the H2 infrastructure of the Wiener Stadtwerke Group, which was built with foresight.

Successful test drives of the H2 bus

Wiener Linien Managing Director Gudrun Senk reports: “We have put various hydrogen buses through their paces in recent years, especially in the summer in extreme heat and therefore under difficult conditions. In contrast to electric buses, which have more range in summer than in winter, hot conditions are more challenging for H2 buses. Our ambition is high: we want to reduce emissions while maintaining the quality of the service. The Caetano city bus has proved very successful in our tests. In future, it will take our passengers through the city with zero emissions, quietly and cleanly.”

Wiener Linien will completely switch to hydrogen buses on line 39A between Heiligenstadt and Sievering in 2025. Due to gradients, short distances between stops and high passenger volumes, this is one of the most demanding lines in the city, which is why hydrogen buses are particularly suitable for these routes.

The tendering process

Originally, the H2 buses were put out to tender together with the e-buses. After intensive tests with an H2 bus from the best bidder at the time, it turned out that this vehicle was not ideally suited for the challenging use in Vienna’s urban transport system. Wiener Linien therefore immediately launched a new tender for the purchase of the ten hydrogen buses. This has now been finalised and line 39A can therefore be converted to H2 buses by the end of 2025.

H2 research project provides valuable experience

As part of the long-term research project “HyBus”, the transport company has been working intensively on hydrogen drive technology since the beginning of 2022. It is being carried out independently of the tendering process and is scheduled to continue until the end of the year. Until then, a Hyundai H2 bus will continue to do its test rounds in Vienna.

Technical data of the TOYOTA CAETANO H2.City Gold:

  • Manufacturer: CaetanoBus – Fabricação de Carroçarias, S.A.
  • Length: 12m (11.995 m)
  • 3 double doors for quick passenger change
  • Total capacity: 78 passengers (seated and standing)
  • Fuel cell from Toyota with 70 kW output
  • Hydrogen tanks on the roof: 5 with a capacity of 7.5 kg each (total capacity: 37.5 kg)
  • Drive type: central motor from Siemens
  • Range: 400 km

The purchase of the H2 buses is funded by the EU via the EBIN programme of the Ministry of Climate Protection. Wiener Linien is investing around EUR 90 million in the current procurement programme for electric and hydrogen buses, including the necessary infrastructure.

Testfing in Vienna | © Wiener Linien