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September got off to a particularly strong start, with Solaris securing major contracts to supply hydrogen buses to the Italian cities of Bologna and Venice, as well as to Cologne in Germany. The total value of these projects amounts to approximately €150 million, which could increase further still if the extensions provided for in these projects are ultimately made use of.  


Europe has recently witnessed a steady increase in transport authorities' interest in hydrogen-based zero-emission transport solutions. Solaris has been marketing this technology for the better part of a decade and is currently the largest European manufacturer, holding a 60% market share in 2022; an accomplishment it hopes to build on with the new 18-metre articulated model, which was added to the company's product portfolio just a few months ago having been already the preferred choice of a number of cities. Including all the projects completed and those orders currently underway, more than 300 Solaris hydrogen buses have been delivered or are in the process of being delivered to eight European countries. 



Solaris is awarded a macro order for hydrogen buses in Bologna 

The Italian city of Bologna has embarked on one of the most ambitious hydrogen fuel cell bus projects in Europe. The municipal public transport operator TPER has awarded Solaris the contract to supply 127 hydrogen-powered units as part of its initiative to convert the city's urban public transport system into an absolute zero-emission transport system by 2030. The contract also provides for an optional order extension for an additional 140 vehicles. 


Bologna has chosen Urbino 12-metre hydrogen buses for this project, a model that is now one of the most widely demanded vehicles featuring this technology on the European market. These vehicles will be equipped with a 70 kW fuel cell that receives hydrogen from five composite tanks mounted on the bus roof, giving the vehicles a range of 350 km irrespective of weather and topographical conditions. They will also be equipped with state-of-the-art driving and safety technology as well as cutting edge passenger information systems. 


These new hydrogen buses are scheduled for revenue service in Bologna in 2024, when the first batch of 34 units is planned for delivery to the city, with the remaining vehicles scheduled for commercial operation in 2025 and 2026. 



Venice also opts for Solaris' hydrogen buses 

The transport company Azienda Veneziana della Mobilita (AVM) has also placed an order for the supply of 90 Solaris hydrogen buses. 75 of these will be 12-metre-long buses and the remaining 15, 18-metre-long articulated vehicles. This contract, just like the previous one, also includes an option to extend the amount of vehicles, 18 additional buses in this case. 


Venice, like many other Italian cities, is committed to implementing emission-free transport, an initiative that the contract for these hydrogen buses will contribute to, with deliveries scheduled to take place between late 2025 and the first weeks of 2026. 


It should be noted that more than 30 Solaris zero-emission buses already operate in Venice and the surrounding area –both electric and hydrogen buses– and contribute not only to silent and emission-free operation, but also provide for long vehicle ranges. It should also be pointed out that a new feature of these hydrogen buses for AVM is that they will be fitted with two refuelling ports, located on both sides of the vehicle. 



Cologne orders more buses 

Finally, the German operator RVK (Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH) has placed its trust in Solaris once more, placing an order for 18 hydrogen-powered 18-metre-long articulated buses. This is the third order placed by Cologne with the CAF Group for this type of vehicle. 


Cologne received the first 15 hydrogen buses from Solaris in 2021, with a further 20 similar vehicles recently added to those. In both cases these were the 12-metre-long model. With this new order, which is due to be delivered in the second half of 2024, Cologne will boast one of the largest fleets of Solaris hydrogen buses with more than 50 vehicles operating in the German city, the country's fourth city in population terms. 


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