Caetano’s fuel cell bus targets UK, with RHD as the launch vehicle
In contrast to most vehicles at Busworld, that are left-hand drive, Caetano signalled its intent in the UK zero-emission bus market with the launch of a 10.7m, right-hand drive H2.City Gold hydrogen fuel-cell single-decker.
It also confirmed that it is “considering” bringing zero-emission double-deckers to the UK, in both battery and hydrogen fuel-cell versions. While the driveline technology will be shared with the single-deckers, the chassis would be different.
Designed for higher-mileage duties and using a Toyota fuel-cell system the H2.City Gold’s range is 400km, with a nine-minute refuelling time.
In addition to a Siemens motor and 29-44kWh LTO batteries, it has a 60kW Toyota Fuel Cell on the roof at the rear. Caetano is the first non-Toyota user of its fuel cell technology, the same as that used in the Toyota Mirai car.
It complements the e.City Gold battery-electric bus, of which 34 - also 10.7m long - have been ordered by Abellio London for 2020 delivery.
Below the cantrail both buses are identical, using the full-low floor City Gold platform. One, two or three doors are possible, as is a 12m version.
Caetano says that the models enable virtually all single-deck applications to be converted to zero emission.
It says that economics dictate the battery-electric bus is better suited where the range needed is shorter. The fuel cell model is best used for higher-mileage duties.
It adds that where large fleets of zero-emission buses are required, the support infrastructure’s cost and complication within the depot may favour hydrogen over batteries regardless of the range requirement.
Where more than a 300km range is necessary, Caetano is aiming for price parity between both the battery and fuel-cell models. A H2.City Gold is 1,000kg lighter than a comparable e.City Gold.
The e.City Golds for Abellio London will use DC charging (the first in London to do so) with Zenobe Energy supplying the charging infrastructure. Cables for DC can be longer than those for AC, allowing greater flexibility with charger siting.
Zenobe will use static batteries at the depot to be charged during the day from the grid. These are then used to charge the buses, meaning it is not be necessary to upgrade the existing grid connection.
Abellio is using the standard CCS 2 system, capable of taking charge at up to 150kW.
The eCity Gold has a Siemens 180kE permanent-magnet synchronous motor, direct drive transmission, 385kWh NMC batteries, and can be specified with a range of battery charging options. The body is aluminium, the axles are from ZF.