In collaboration with the municipalities of Most and Litvínov, the refining and petrochemical group ORLEN Unipetrol has implemented the pilot operation of a hydrogen-powered bus developed by the Slovak company Mobility&Innovation Production s.r.o. “The hydrogen bus was deployed on selected routes in Most and Litvínov between Thursday, 29 June, and Sunday, 9 July,” said Daniel Dunovský, director of the Most and Litvínov Transit Authority. He added: “We are satisfied with the results of the summer testing of the hydrogen-powered bus in high temperatures in an urban environment and hilly terrain. The operation was problem-free; the average consumption of the bus was 3.37 kg of hydrogen per 100 kilometres. We also received positive feedback from passengers. The bus is quiet and emission-free. Despite the higher demands of summer testing, we are planning winter operational tests for January and February. After their completion, we will issue a recommendation concerning the possible inclusion of these buses in our fleet.”
As a result of the July testing, Most and Litvínov were among the first towns in the Czech Republic to deploy a hydrogen-powered bus on regular routes in standard operation. “We see hydrogen as one of the essential tools for meeting decarbonisation goals. By opening a hydrogen refuelling station, ORLEN Unipetrol has provided us with an ideal opportunity to expand clean, zero-emission mobility in our region. If everything goes as expected, hydrogen-fuelled buses could be deployed in the Most District in 2024,” said Marek Hrvol, mayor of Most.
“This is a welcome opportunity to really move ahead on our path towards developing low-emission and zero-emission mobility in public transportation for our town as well,” adds Kamila Bláhová, mayor of Litvínov, adding: “The testing of the hydrogen-powered bus is divided into two phases. After this summer testing, we will also do a trial in the winter months.”
Both towns are collaborating on testing the hydrogen-powered bus with the ORLEN Unipetrol Group, which brokered the hydrogen-powered bus for this pilot project and provided financial support. “We are responsibly involved in developing a new technology that will soon play an important role in the energy mix for meeting the clean-mobility and decarbonisation targets that are part of the emissions-free development of the European Union and the Czech Republic,” explains Tomáš Herink, member of ORLEN Unipetrol’s board of directors, adding: “Hydrogen technology is an ideal complement to battery-powered electromobility in the development of low-emission and zero-emission passenger, mass and cargo transportation, both by road and rail.”
The low-floor electric bus with hydrogen fuel cells was developed by Slovak Mobility&Innovation Production s.r.o. It has a total length of 7982 mm, a width of 2550 mm, and a height of 2940 mm. Its maximum capacity is up to 68 passengers, with 20 seated. The fully air-conditioned bus has a range of up to 350 km under hydrogen power and an additional 100 km under battery power. The bus is driven by a Siemens Elfa electric motor with a total output of 125 kW and torque of 1,019 Nm. The electric motor is powered by two batteries with a total capacity of 70 kWh. The total capacity of its four hydrogen tanks is 10.5 kg, and refuelling takes ten minutes.
The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refining and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. It belongs among the key players on the Czech and Central European markets in all these areas. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo in Pardubice, Spolana in Neratovice, REMAQ in Otrokovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. ORLEN Unipetrol also includes the ORLEN Benzina network of petrol stations in the Czech Republic and the ORLEN network in Slovakia and Hungary. ORLEN Unipetrol is one of the largest companies in the Czech Republic in terms of turnover. It employs almost 6,000 people. ORLEN Unipetrol is also a socially responsible company, particularly in the areas of supporting sustainable development, education, local communities and the environment. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became part of the ORLEN Group, the largest oil refiner in Central Europe.
ORLEN Benzina is part of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group, a member of the international ORLEN Group. It operates the largest chain of filling stations in the Czech Republic. In addition to Efecta fuels with a purifying effect, ORLEN Benzina offers top-quality Verva fuels with a purifying effect and enhanced performance parameters. The ORLEN Benzina network also provides power for alternative drives (LPG and CNG) and has the largest network of electricity charging points. The company operates public hydrogen filling stations in Prague-Barrandov and Litvínov. ORLEN Benzina offers a broad refreshment portfolio within its Stop Café concept. ORLEN Benzina issues its EASY and BUSINESS fuel cards and offers customers two mobile applications – the ORLEN Benzina loyalty app and the car care application, Mycí digi linka. In total, ORLEN Benzina operates 435 petrol stations in the Czech Republic and has a market share of 24 per cent. Consumer confidence was confirmed by ORLEN Benzina being five times awarded the title of the Most Trusted Brand in the Czech Republic.