The hydrogen bus in question, Source: Comunidad de Madrid

First hydrogen bus in Spain begins operating in Madrid Region

First hydrogen bus in Spain begins operating in Madrid Region

The vehicle was presented by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the region

In the words of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of Madrid Region: “Today a transport revolution begins”. The optimistic tone was inspired by the announcement that a hydrogen bus will be set in motion to transport passengers on the roads of the Henares Corridor – the first such vehicle to officially operate in Spain.

Initially and until the last quarter of the year, the bus will run as a trial run, with the idea of it being the pioneer and precursor of what is to become a wide-spread mode of transportation later on. It was reported that the bus will be operated by ALSA, a transport company that provides interurban and regional scheduled passenger services in Madrid, as well as in Spain.

Clean, quiet and accessible – the key features of the hydrogen bus

The vehicle in question is a Caetano H2 bus, which is 12 metres long and equipped with a low floor for better accessibility, three double access doors and a capacity to carry 62 passengers, including a space for people with reduced mobility. What makes it interesting and unique, however, is what will propel it forward.

A hydrogen fuel cell will feed the electric powered engine, giving it a distinct advantage over other buses, both of the traditional and alternative fuel varieties. It is designed to emit no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and only water vapours – the result of the process in the hydrogen fuel cell. It is also reported to be practically noiseless, which combined with the previous feature earns it the distinction of a ‘zero pollution’ vehicle, meaning that it creates no air nor noise contamination.

It compares favourably to electric buses as well because its battery provides a longer range – 400 kilometres with a single charge. And recharging the fuel cell battery will take the same time as recharging an electrical bus.

The Government of Madrid informed that the Regional Transport Consortium already has 28% of its fleet converted to alternative fuel vehicles, running on natural gas or electrical power. However, this new vehicle and a driverless bus trial running on the Cantoblanco campus of the Autonomous University of Madrid, are set to completely transform the idea of transportation and mobility.

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