On 21 February, the Czech capital approved Prague Public Transit’s (DPP) project to run a trial of a hydrogen-powered bus.
Under this project, the company will deploy the bus on line 170, connecting Jižní město and Barrandov, in the second half of 2022 for a period of 2 years.
As TheMayor.eu reports, the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib praised the trial, noting that it is an important step in ensuring sustainable urban mobility. What is more, he revealed that about 50% of the capital’s population currently relies on public transport to move around the city.
Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of DPP Petr Witowski commented on Prague’s public transport, sharing that electric traction (e.g., metro and trams) accounts for about 75% of it. As electric buses and battery-powered trolleybuses are on the rise, this percentage is expected to further increase in the future. While this is good news in terms of sustainability, Witowski explains that DPP must invest in diversification:
“We must also take energy security into account in order to be able to ensure public transport even in crisis situations, such as metro, tram or train interruptions, blackouts, etc. For this reason, we must keep at least 25% of the fleet independent of charging infrastructure. In addition to diesel or hybrid vehicles, hydrogen could help.”
Are the high costs worth it?
Although the hydrogen-powered bus will be emission-free and sustainable, its operations will be costly. On its website, the municipality reveals that DPP estimates that the average annual mileage of the vehicle will come to approximately 50,000 kilometres.
Taking this further, it predicts that the price of hydrogen will be around CZK 300 per kilogram, with the vehicle using 10 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 kilometres.
The acquisition cost of the bus will also be high, costing 4 times more than that of a diesel bus. Beyond this, it is important to highlight another significant cost: the construction of a hydrogen filling station, which will take place this year.
“In two years, we will find out if the current high price for this technology will be worth the quiet and emission-free operation. In any case, we [the city] will only pay the costs associated with its operation as part of the testing,” shared Adam Scheinherr, Deputy Mayor for Transport and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DPP.