Fuels cells to power long-distance FlixBus fleet

FlixMobility, which operates Europe’s largest long-distance bus fleet under the FlixBus brand, is working to put fuel cell-powered coaches on the road in an effort to go climate neutral by 2030.

FlixMobility has set its sights on offering Europeans a comfortable, cheap and environmentally friendly way to travel across the continent. It already operates electric buses in Germany and France, powered entirely by clean electricity from Greenpeace Energy, under its FlixBus brand, and has been running 100% green electricity long-distance trains in Germany since 2018.

Now, FlixBus is teaming up with global technology specialist Freudenberg Sealing Technologies to put fuel cell-operated coaches on the roads. The Freudenberg Group has been researching alternative drive concepts since the mid-1990s and made strategic acquisitions in 2018 to expand its expertise in fuel cells and electric battery powertrain solutions. The two companies are also in talks with a bus vehicle manufacturer.

“We want to help shape the future of mobility,” said Fabian Stenger, Managing Director of FlixBus. “The modern FlixBus and FlixTrain fleet is already extremely environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, we are constantly asking ourselves how we can make travel even more sustainable and further reduce CO2 emissions per capita.”

The vehicles should have a range of at least 500 kilometres of continuous use without refuelling. Hydrogen refuelling itself should take 20 minutes or less, comparable to the time needed to refill a diesel fuel tank.

The two companies hope that their fuel-cell long distances coaches will set a new “milestone in the history of mobility”, one that will extend beyond Europe and also eventually encompass clean transportation.

Image credit: Freudenberg Group

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