It’s true that Germany has been a beehive of activity these past 5 years when it comes to developing hydrogen cars, vehicles and the supporting infrastructure. Germany has far outpaced development of the same in the United States and Japan, its two closest competitors.
And now Germany is doing it again by introducing four Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid buses in Hamburg. Hamburger Hochbahn AG (sans pickles, ketchup and mustard) has bought the fuel cell buses and will be buying three more next year.
The new Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid buses have received some serious upgrades since the first generation buses that were rolled out in Hamburg in 2003.
According to parent company Daimler, “The Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid features a number of key innovations in comparison to the fuel cell buses which went into trial operation in Hamburg in 2003: hybridisation with energy recovery and storage in lithium-ion batteries, powerful electric motors in the wheel hubs offering a continuous output of 120 kW, electrified auxiliary units and more advanced fuel cells. The latter are designed for an extended service life of at least six years or 12,000 operating hours. The fuel cell stacks of the new Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid are identical to those of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class FCELL with fuel cell drive, which is also being put to the test by customers in Hamburg.”
So, you see Germany is charging ahead with their hydrogen electric vehicles while the rest of the world kind of just putters along. We could use a little of that hydrogen autobahn spirit not only in Germany but in other developed nations who “get” why clean air, less dependence upon foreign oil and lower prices at the pump are so important.