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Hydrogen trams set for transport system in France


A plan to introduce the first hydrogen bus routes in France and the world’s first hydrogen tram-buses for a full BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system looks set to become a reality in just two years’ time.

Clean energy company Ballard Power Systems and public transport specialist Van Hool will be working together to produce eight trams for the transport system in Pau, southern France.

The vehicles will use fuel cells for primary power and lithium batteries for additional power when needed, with the only emission being water vapour.

Each tram-bus is more than 18 metres long, has capacity for 125 passengers and can operate for around 185 miles between hydrogen refuelling, which takes 10 minutes.

Rob Campbell, Ballard Chief Commercial Officer, said, “We are excited to see continued market expansion of fuel cell-powered mass transit vehicles in Europe, as typified by this tram-bus project. This is a further sign of the growing importance of zero-emission fuel cell solutions globally.”

The tram-buses are scheduled to be delivered to the project in the second half of 2019.