Van Hool is a bus & coach manufacturer, located in Belgium (Lier, Antwerp and Bree, Limburg).
Van Hool develops, manufacturers, markets and services buses and coaches since 1947.
From the nineties onwards, Van Hool is active in developing and supplying buses with alternative
drive technology, ranging from LPG, CNG and electric trolleybuses to hybrid diesel-electric and
hybrid fuel cell buses. To be successful in this segment, Van Hool’s product philosophy is to
develop time proven bus concepts and integrate the best available drive technology on the market
to meet specific operating requirements.
Concerning hybrid fuel cell technology, Van Hool can present a long list of successful experiences:
for the US market, a first generation was developed in 2003 together with UTC Power, Hartford
(USA) and ISE, San Diego (USA). This bus was first presented to the public in Dallas (USA) on
occasion of the APTA congress in 2005. As an indicator for its success, 5 buses in an US
demonstration project together have travelled over 800.000 miles.
In Europe, Van Hool’s second generation hybrid fuel cell buses are in duty since 2007. The
European bus is a three axle bus.
From the third generation, 5 buses are running in Oslo in the CHIC program and 14 additional
buses for Antwerp, San Remo and Aberdeen are being manufactured for the High V.LO-City
project and an additional 6 buses for Aberdeen as part of the Aberdeen Hydrogen Project and
HyTransit, to be operated by Stagecoach. The current order for two FC buses for RVK
(Regionalverkehr Köln) in Cologne complete the European series to a total of 22 buses.
The buses in the US covered nearly 1000.000km so far. These outstanding performances
triggered AC Transit to order next generation Van Hool fuel cell buses. With a total so far of 27
buses in the market and another 22 on order all of which will be in service in Q2/2014, it can be
said that this latest and third generation is becoming the standard hybrid fuel cell
concept. Modifications are now following new generation technology of batteries, fuel cells,
electric motors and power electronics, driven exclusively by the need to show better performance,
better energy efficiency while at the same time lowering cost and improving TCO. This is the
necessary and unique path to commercialisation.