Three hydrogen-driven buses should go into service in Milan this September. Milan will then become the first city in Italy, along with London, Dusseldorf and Aberdeen among the few cities in Europe, to experiment with hydrogen-driven public transport.
The new buses are due for service on Line 84 from Largo Augusto in the centre to S. Donato in the south east.
The cost of one bus, around €1 million, makes the investment considerably more expensive than that for the traditional fossil fuel powered fleet but the vehicles are pollution free.
Milan’s ATM public transport company puts the cost of the new service at around €15 million. In addition to the initial investment in vehicles there is also the expense of hydrogen storage, servicing the vehicles and training drivers.
The new buses have been in the pipeline in for the last three years but they should now be in service well in time for Milan’s Expo 2015, which is promoting clean energy sources as one of its theme.
In mid-July the European Commission announced €1.4 billion funding for research more efficient and cheaper hydrogen fuel cells.