City cancels order for 50 hydrogen buses after realizing electric buses make so much more sense
The City of Montpellier has confirmed it has canceled an order for 50 hydrogen fuel cell buses after realizing it would be cheaper and more efficient to order battery electric buses instead.
Hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars are already almost dead.
Virtually every vehicle program, from the Toyota Mirai to the Hyundai NEXO Fuel Cell, failed to gain traction as battery electric vehicles took over.
However, some hydrogen proponents have argued that the technology may still prevail for larger vehicles like buses and trucks.
The likelihood of this happening is getting harder and harder to believe, and now we have an interesting concrete example of why.
Montpellier, a city in the south of France, had ordered 50 hydrogen fuel cell buses for more than two years.
However, the city updated its plan to decarbonise its public transport last week and noted that it had canceled the order after reviewing the finances.
Michaël Delafosse, president of the municipality, said that they now expect hydrogen buses to be six times more expensive than electric buses due to the cost of operation (via The gallery and translated from French):
“Hydrogen technology is promising. But we were helped on the investment but not on the functioning. However, this would cost six times more than with electric buses. So, for the moment, we are giving up hydrogen buses, we will see in 2030 if hydrogen is cheaper.
While the city could have bought the hydrogen buses for less money, they calculated that the running cost would be 0.95 euros (1.08 USD) per km for the hydrogen buses compared to 0.15 euros ( 0.17 USD) per km for battery- electric ones.
This is mainly due to the cost of producing, storing and distributing hydrogen, which is much higher and more complicated than the charging infrastructure, which mainly relies on already existing electricity infrastructure.
Even in its most efficient form, producing and delivering hydrogen is far less efficient than powering a vehicle with a battery:
Today, Montpellier, like many other cities around the world, is preparing to place an order for electric buses, which the city says will help them achieve their goal of making public transport free for their residents.
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