PUBLIC transport commuters in Geelong can expect to be some of the first Australian passengers to ride on hydrogen fuel cell electric powered buses by the end of next year.

Operating under contract with Public Transport Victoria, ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) is expecting delivery of two green hydrogen powered buses in the second half of next year that will operate on routes throughout the city and are to be refuelled at the New Energies Service Station (NESS) recently announced by Viva Energy.

CDC “has significant experience deploying hydrogen buses in London”, CEO Nicholas Yap said of last year’s rollout in Britain’s capital.

“Leveraging on our global experience, we are excited to roll out the two hydrogen fuel cell electric buses in Geelong, our first in Australia,” Mr Yap said. “CDC is not aware of any hydrogen fuel cell electric buses operating in public transport across Australia today although many governments are exploring trials of this technology.”

The buses are expected to have a similar range to the existing diesel fleet of about 450 km, but are expected to cost between two to three times their combustion counterparts during their five-year trial phase.

The Aluminium Revolutionary Chassis Company is building the buses in Australia and will look similar to conventionally powered buses with several noticeable differences that include a lack of noise, vibration and tail-pipe emissions due to the electric motors and extended rooflines containing hydrogen fuel cylinders and other hydrogen fuel cell componentry.

Waste company Cleanaway is also expecting delivery of two hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by the end of 2023, start of 2024, and is considering an additional one to two trucks to be on the road in 2025.

As with the CDC buses, Cleanaway trucks will look similar to its existing fleet but will be devoid of exhaust fumes, engine noise and will have similar range to diesel vehicles. The trucks will also refuel at Viva’s NESS in Corio.

The hydrogen fuelled trucks will complement other alternative powered vehicles in the Cleanaway fleet that currently operates three battery electric heavy cab vehicles.

A Cleanaway spokesperson said it’s “investigating other zero emissions/carbon options including battery electric light vehicles and landfill gas powered vehicles”.

Funding for the trials will partially come from the companies themselves, in conjunction with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Viva Energy and the Victorian Government.

Extracted in full from: Clean, green, quiet – Geelong Times (