She also mentions that they are not very economical. “If you must pay everything on your own, then they are much more expensive than the other buses.” She continues, “At the moment, we are negotiating with the government about new contracts and they will give us a certain amount because we are testing these buses. But in comparison to standard diesel buses, they are a lot more expensive.”
For fueling its buses, the BVG works closely with TOTAL Deutschland, whose filling station on Heerstrasse, Berlin-Spandau handles the BVG buses as well as Clean Energy Partnership’s (CEP) fleet of cars. BVG is currently developing its hydrogen activities further and new fueling facilities and the shifting of hydrogen hotspots in Berlin and the surrounding area will enable additional fields of use and open up new prospects for BVG’s H2 bus fleet.
“While the four hydrogen buses with naturally aspirated engines will continue to operate as part of the CEP until 2014, new projects for the extension of the hydrogen fleet are currently negotiated with funding agency and technology partners,” Nikutta explains.
“Renewable hydrogen as a fuel of the future remains an important option for BVG for putting the company’s sustainability strategy into action, and a major contributor to improving the quality of life in Berlin.” She adds, “BVG is therefore actively working with producers and automotive partners in the CEP toward their shared goal of safeguarding future mobility while also conserving fossil resources.”
The BVG is also testing electric buses, Nikutta says. There are currently no electric buses from a German producer. The first bus they tested was a bus from China and they plan on working with Solaris for the future.
“Perhaps this will be a way to get more efficient and more pollution free. This will be a good way because we need a lot of buses.”
Nikutta summarizes, “As the backbone of Berlin public transportation, our buses and trains make a significant contribution to the achievement of the climate protection targets set by the federal government and the state of Berlin. The BVG constantly works on the reduction of energy input.”
Read more on BVG’s Underground expansion, a gap closure between two lines, the U5 and U55, which will be complete in 2019.www.MassTransitmag.com/10813195.