De Lijn not to buy extra fuel cell buses yet
According to Flemish Mobility Minister Ben Weyts (N-VA) transport company De Lijn is not planning to buy extra hydrogen fuel cell buses at this moment. Since 2014 De Lijn uses five hydrogen fuel cell buses build by Van Hool in the Antwerp region. The buses were bought in the context of the European High V.LO City.
“The hydrogen fuel cell bus currently is – technically spoken – not sufficiently mature to use it on a larger scale”, says Ban Weyts. “Introducing it has a wider effect than the electric buses, like a longer learning curve for instance. They are also more expensive in purchase, maintenance/repair and usage costs.”
At this moment the provisioning of hydrogen cannot be guaranteed yet, which means an uncertain price evolution and thus a financial risk. Weyts expects these buses to be ready for large-scale implementation by 2025.
In the meantime De Lijn wants to increase the amount of kilometres in the city. In the period between October 2016 and October 2017 the availability of the five buses was 80 to 90% and the last few months it even increased.