TfL is taking part in the Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE) project. JIVE is aimed at paving the way towards the commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell (FC) vehicles, which includes: addressing the high ownership costs relative to conventional buses, ensuring the FC buses can meet the high availability levels demanded by public transport, developing the refuelling infrastructure to provide reliable, low cost hydrogen and improving the understanding of the potential of FC buses for zero emission public transport. It is to address these issues through the deployment of 142 fuel cell buses across nine locations, more than doubling the number of FC buses operating in Europe. The project is expected to cost over €106m and the funding sought is €32m. It is being coordinated by Element Energy and includes Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee and a number of European partners as well as London.
JIVE is to use ‘coordinated procurement activities’ to unlock the economies of scale which are required to reduce the cost of these buses. They are planned to be operated in fleets of ten to 30 buses, which is expected to reduce the overhead costs per bus, as well as allowing more efficient supply chains and maintenance operations compared to previous deployments. By working at this scale and with bus OEMs with proven vehicles, the project is intended to ensure reliability at the level required for commercialisation. It will also test new hydrogen refuelling stations with the required capacity to serve fleets of over 20 buses.