January 2022


Local public transport is set to become greener!



Test drives of an electric hydrogen bus from Hyundai took place in South Tyrol in the second half of January. What was special about it? For the first time, extensive tests were carried out in extra-urban areas; and the results are promising. 


South Tyrol has a long, successful history in the field of hydrogen buses: SASA has been using electric fuel cell buses in urban public transport since as early as 2013 - thanks to several EU projects. However, as far as extra-urban passenger transport is concerned, there are currently no specific zero-emission buses on offer.


This is why the current series of tests is particularly interesting: although the ELEC CITY Fuel Cell from Hyundai is actually designed for urban applications, its performance and refuelling capacity mean that it would also be suitable for longer, more demanding routes. In contrast to the H2 buses currently available on the market, the hydrogen in the tank is compressed to 700 bar and drives a 180 kW fuel cell system. The result? A range of between 500 and 700 kilometres - depending on topographical conditions and speed.

A highlight of this test series took place on Friday 21 January, when the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, Alessandro Morelli, and the Provincial Councillor for Mobility, Daniel Alfreider, participated in a test drive with this innovative zero-emission vehicle. Starting in Rasun, the fully-loaded bus travelled to the Biathlon Centre in Antholz: in addition to 12 people, there were several 'dummys' filled with water (individual weight of 80 kg) to simulate a full load. The result: the entire route was covered in exemplary fashion and the bus returned to Bolzano at the end of the day with considerable autonomy still available.


This test is to all intents and purposes a success and a clear sign that the Olympic Games in 2026 can also be held in a more sustainable way and as emission-free as possible. And perhaps with hydrogen-powered buses in the suburban area as well.