Proton Motor and Skoda Electric

unveil the world’s first public service bus with Triple Hybrid® fuel cell system

Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH, the expert in industrial fuel cells, fuel cell and hybrid systems, and Skoda Electric from Pilsen/Czech Republic, presented a world first to the general public: the first public service bus to use a triple hybrid® system with fuel cells. The official unveiling and handover took place 2009 in Prague.

This vehicle is the product of a cooperation agreement between Skoda Electric, UJV Nuclear Research Institute Rez plc and Proton Motor. As a world-renowned manufacturer of trolley buses and electric-powered rail vehicles, Skoda Electric was responsible for the vehicle, including its electric drive system and system integration. The project was coordinated by UJV, a leading research institution in the Czech Republic. Proton supplied the world’s first special hybrid fuel cell propulsion system.

This environmentally friendly and highly efficient technology, unlike conventional hybrid propulsion systems, has no combustion engine whatsoever, and is instead a combination of fuel cells, batteries and ultracapacitors.

Skoda Bus mit Proton Motor Range Extender

City bus with Triple Hybrid® System

It harnesses the advantages of electrical propulsion to the full, storing brake energy and thus enabling energy savings of over 50 per cent compared to conventional diesel buses. It is also completely emissions-free. At the heart of it all is the 50-kW PM Basic A 50 fuel cell sys-tem from Proton Motor, which since 2008 has also been used in the world’s first fuel-cell-powered passenger ship, the FCS Alsterwasser.

The basic vehicle is a 12-metre standard bus with a total permissible weight of 18 tonnes, of the type that has been deployed hundreds of thousands of times in urban transport networks worldwide. The propulsion system’s nominal output is 120 kW (163 HP). Its maximum speed is 65 km/h, while its maximum range during urban transport is more than 250 km per tank. The bus is filled with 20 kg of gaseous hydrogen at 350 bar, and the filling process takes less than 10 minutes.