The HYFLEET: CUTE project in Europe has officially come to an end. HYFLEET: CUTE was a demonstration project that accomplished its goals of proving that hydrogen buses are indeed worthy alternative fuel vehicles worth pursuing via commercialization.
According to me, “HyFLEET: CUTE is based upon the information garnered from three other projects, CUTE, ECTOS (Ecological City TranspOrt System) and STEP (Sustainable Transport Energy Project). ECTOS was a fuel cell bus program based in Reykjavik, Iceland and STEP was a fuel cell bus program based in Perth, Australia.”
So, if HYFLEET: CUTE is out what is there to replace it? Good question. There is now a new program called CHIC (Clean Hydrogen in European Cities Project). Yes, I know the letters don’t exactly lineup.
The goal of HYFLEET: CUTE was to demonstrate the hydrogen buses worked. The goal of CHIC is to commercialize these now-proven hydrogen buses across Europe.
According to CHIC, “The project involves integrating 26 FCH buses in daily public transport operations and bus routes in five locations across Europe – Aargau (Switzerland), Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), London (UK), Milan (Italy), and Oslo (Norway). The CHIC project is supported by the European Union Joint Undertaking for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH JU) with funding of 26 million Euros, and has 25 partners from across Europe, which include industrial partners for vehicle supply and refuelling infrastructure. The project is based on a staged introduction and build-up of FCH bus fleets, the supporting hydrogen refuelling stations and infrastructure in order to facilitate the smooth integration of the FCH buses in Europe’s public transport system.”
So there you have it, the answer to the age old question. Which came first the CHIC or the egg? Well in regard to hydrogen it looks like the CHIC is coming first with the egg (hydrogen fueling stations) following closely.