The new vehicle will be unveiled and the handover will take place in summer 2009 in Prague.

The project was coordinated by UJV, a research institution in the Czech Republic. Proton Motor supplied the triple hybrid fuel cell propulsion system.

Unlike conventional hybrid propulsion systems, this environmentally friendly and highly efficient technology has no combustion engine, and is instead a combination of fuel cells, batteries and ultra-capacitors. It harnesses the advantages of electrical propulsion to the full, storing brake energy and thus enabling energy savings of over 50% compared to conventional diesel buses. It is also completely emissions-free. At the heart of the system is the 50-kW PM Basic A 50 fuel cell system from Proton Motor, which since last year has also been used in the world’s first fuel-cell-powered passenger ferry, 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. The vehicle will go into operation in and around Prague from mid-2009 onwards.

Thomas Melczer, CEO of Proton Power, said: We are extremely proud to be able to once again prove our technological leadership in the field of fuel cells and hybrid systems with this city bus that runs on our triple hybrid system. Our technology provides maximised efficiency based on an optimised technical design and energy management. This will strongly support our approach to turn our company into an industrialised volume manufacturer for fuel cell products and applications. We are also leaders in the implementation of tailor-made solutions in all kinds of applications, especially for public and private fleet operators.