A new non-stop emission-free service has been introduced by the Rheinisch-Bergische Kreis (RBK), the city of Cologne and transport company Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK) in January 2020.

From the bus depot in Bensberg, Stephan Santelmann, District Administrator of the Rheinisch-Bergische district, along with other district representatives and RVK Managing Director Eugen Puderbach, launched the first official trip in one of the hydrogen-operated fuel cell hybrid buses locations selected for the Bergisch Gladbach location. More buses are to quickly follow. They will be refuelled at the TOTAL hydrogen refuelling station at Cologne/ Bonn airport, which has been upgraded over the past few months.

Hydrogen-operated fuel cell buses are ideal for regional transport because they enable ranges comparable to the diesel engine of around 350 kilometres and more, and have similarly speedy refuelling times. The only local ‘emission’ from this vehicle is pure water or steam. The National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology funded the procurement of the hydrogen buses.