SSB has taken an important step towards the goal of an internal infrastructure for the reliable and cost-efficient supply of hydrogen to the fuel cell bus fleet. It has now opened its first hydrogen filling station at the bus depot in Gaisburg. This marks the end of the time in which the four SSB fuel cell buses needed to be driven from Gaisburg to the airport for each refuelling procedure.

In view of the planned expansion of the number of fuel cell hybrid buses, the intention is to ensure supply security and good integration into operating processes. The “WaBe” (“Wasserstoffbetriebstankstelle”; English: “company hydrogen filling station”) project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) with a total amount of 300,000 euros as part of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by the Projektträger Jülich (PtJ) project management organisation.

Commenting on the support, Steffen Bilger, BMVI Parliamentary State Secretary, noted: “The switch to renewable fuels begins now. After all, in the transport sector we will only achieve the climate targets if we use electricity and hydrogen obtained from renewable energies or the synthetic fuels produced from them. With the new hydrogen strategy, the German government is investing 9 billion euros in the continued development of hydrogen technology.”

In contrast to the costly and complex 700 bar car refuelling systems, the filling station at the Gaisburg depot will operate at 350 bar. This allows the use of robust and less complex system components based on the proven system for natural gas refuelling of buses. With the filling station, SSB is sending a clear signal to vehicle manufacturers and bus operators that it will continue to rely on fuel cell technology in the future.

Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, Stuttgart member of the German Bundestag and Innovation Commissioner for “Green Hydrogen” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, welcomes the start of operations. “The transport sector must rely on technological progress to achieve the climate targets. Fuel cell buses can significantly reduce CO2 emissions in local public transport. I am very pleased that SSB is making progress in setting up the refuelling infrastructure required for this,” said Kaufmann.