FlixBus shall become even greener: The long-distance travel specialist plans to produce the first fuel cell-powered long-distance bus.
FlixBus shall become even greener: The long-distance travel specialist plans to produce the first fuel cell-powered long-distance bus.
( Bild: FlixMobility)

CO2 free mobility FlixBus plans the first European long-distance bus with fuel cell drive

| Editor: Jochen Schwab

Europe's largest long-distance bus supplier is investing in alternative drives: FlixMobility is the first company in the world to test fuel-cell-powered buses in long-distance bus services. FlixMobility is working with technology specialist Freudenberg Sealing Technologies on the project for sustainable, CO2-free mobility. Initial discussions with bus manufacturers are already underway.

Green is not only the color of FlixMobility buses and trains: The company, which is known in Germany mainly for its Flixbus long-distance buses, would like to go one step further together with Freudenberg's technology specialist.

"We want to help shape the future of mobility," says Fabian Stenger, Managing Director of FlixBus DACH. "After three successfully launched electric long-distance buses, we now want to develop the first long-distance bus with fuel cell drive together with Freudenberg and set another milestone in the history of mobility.

The first electric buses in France and Germany were produced by the manufacturers BYD and Yutong from China. Fuel cell technology is now an opportunity, especially for European bus manufacturers, to finally influence the turnaround in mobility.

To implement the project, the two companies are aiming for public funding within the framework of the "National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology" (NIP). The aim is to ensure that this technology reaches market maturity more quickly and thus makes a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions from road traffic.

Same performance - without pollutant emissions

Performance features, such as acceleration, should correspond to those of today's long-distance buses. Without refueling, the fuel cell vehicles should cover at least 500 kilometers in one go. The refueling process itself should take a maximum of 20 minutes, similar to today, except that hydrogen flows into the tank instead of diesel.

"A hybrid system that intelligently combines battery and fuel cells is particularly practical for heavier vehicles that cover long distances, since purely electric drives currently still have a short range," says Claus Möhlenkamp, CEO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. Initially, a representative bus fleet is to be equipped with the system during the validation phase. "In the future, we want to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions from road traffic. What we are doing together with FlixMobility on the roads of Europe is also groundbreaking for other mobility sectors," Möhlenkamp continues.

This article was first published in German by Next Mobility.