Wednesday, 14 June 2017

TfL enters procurement for hydrogen fuel cell buses

TfL has given out a formal invitation to search for a supplier to build double and single deck hydrogen buses.

TfL is conducting a competition to establish a multi supplier, multi lot framework for the purchase of single and double deck buses which use hydrogen fuel cells as their primary source of drive-train power, which will also allow for the capability to provide support services such as maintenance.

An objective of this Framework is to encourage local, national and international collaboration in an attempt to generate large scale deployment, standardisation, and ultimately commercialisation of fuel cell buses. A number of UK city transport authorities and transport operators have expressed their desire to use this Framework.

During the term of the Framework, TfL will encourage further city authorities and transport operators to utilise the Framework whilst supporting its objectives, in an effort to maintain large scale fuel cell bus orders.

A number of UK and EU authorities and operators, have successfully secured funding to support the deployment of fuel cell buses from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), under the Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE) project. The current JIVE Bus Deployment Partners can be found by following the link as set out in section VI.2 of this contract notice.

In its 2017 call for proposals, the FCH JU has allocated further funding to support an additional large-scale fuel cell bus project (at least 125 vehicles across Europe), which is expected to begin in 2018. Given the duration of this Framework, it is expected to be used for the procurement of fuel cell buses in the UK (and possibly in other countries) associated with the project formed in response to the 2017 call, and potentially other future projects.

Alongside the city authorities, TfL wishes to enable existing and future London and UK Bus Operators to utilise this Framework should they desire. Therefore, TfL is establishing this framework on behalf of itself and other awarding bodies including UK city transport authorities, EU transport authorities and Bus Operators.

Bus Operators will include, but not be limited to, third party companies who operate bus services in the UK from time to time, or any third party who in the ordinary course of business provides buses to such operators.

Whilst TfL will manage the framework, all Call Off contracts will be between the Supplier and the awarding body. This Framework will also be accessible for use by any corporation established, or a group of individuals appointed to act together, for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest.

TfL’s own electronic tendering page shows the estimated cost for the tender is a whopping £120,000,000. This shows that London Buses could be looking forward to a massive roll out of hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Here’s a quick London Bus news update from LOTS:

There are still only about half of the new StreetLites in actual service on Tower Transit route 236, although there has been a surge in the past week. The first handful of new LTs (954+) are now running on the 137 and transfer of older LTs to Ash Grove has started, but in a very small way so far. Huge quantities of new VWHs have arrived with Metroline but just about three have started in service, at present on route 90 prior to a batch taking over route 120 on 24th June.

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Image attribution
By Spsmiler - Own work, Public Domain,

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