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Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK), the public transport authority of the German city of Cologne, has once again chosen Solaris for the supply of hydrogen-powered buses. This time the contract comprises 20 vehicles, nine of which will be Urbino 12-metre buses, while the remaining eleven will be Urbino 18-metre articulated buses. After delivery of this order - scheduled for the first half of 2025 - the hydrogen bus fleet in Cologne will comprise 84 Solaris vehicles. 


The city of Cologne, located in West Germany, with a population of over 1 million inhabitants, is a pioneer in the development of hydrogen-based public transport as part of its commitment to sustainability. This investment not only included the purchase of the vehicles in question, but also the installation of an appropriate infrastructure, which has resulted in the creation of entire hydrogen-based transport lines. 


The buses will have a guaranteed autonomy of 350 km, regardless of weather and topographical conditions. As with previous vehicles, they will be fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, including high-efficiency air conditioning, an advanced passenger monitoring and information system, as well as the eSConnect remote fleet monitoring and management system and the MobilEye Shield+ system, which detects any objects in the vicinity of the bus. 


Solaris has also been selected to supply 22 Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses to the Île-de-France Mobilités operator. This is a tender that was raised by this operator with the support of the CATP (Public Transport Purchasing Centre) to purchase and maintain hydrogen buses. The purpose of this pilot project was to assess hydrogen technology's potential for the region's public transport system, as part of the initiatives and investments that have been ongoing since 2018 to renew the current fleet of buses. In this case, the units are scheduled to be delivered between the end of 2024 and 2025. 


These new contracts confirm Solaris' leading position in the European market for hydrogen and zero emission vehicles. This is illustrated by the fact that in financial year 2023, 44.5% of all hydrogen buses registered in Europe were Solaris vehicles. 


The increase in the amount of hydrogen buses sold last year is a clear indication of the increasing interest in this technology, with everything suggesting that this trend will continue. In fact, at the end of last year, Solaris had 535 hydrogen-powered vehicles on order for delivery between 2024 and 2026. This solution has significant advantages, such as high autonomy and fast refuelling, which makes it very flexible in terms of managing fleets of hydrogen-powered vehicles. 

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