FlixBus Plans First European Long-Distance Buses with Fuel Cell Power
++ The future of mobility is green with emission-free travel thanks to hydrogen
++ Cooperation with technology specialists Freudenberg Sealing Technologies
++ Hydrogen: how the most common element in universe is being utilized
Europe’s largest long-distance bus provider is investing in alternative fuel technology. FlixMobility plans to test fuel cell powered buses in long-distance traffic, making it the first company in the world to do so. To bring this project focused on sustainability and CO2-free mobility to life, the company will work with German-based technology specialists Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. Initial discussions with manufacturers to develop the buses for this endeavor have already begun.
Green is not only the color of FlixMobility’s buses and trains. Thanks to a modern fleet and high capacity, long-distance buses are one of the most environmentally friendly means of transportation available. Now, FlixMobility and technology specialist Freudenberg want to take sustainable mobility a step further.
André Schwämmlein, Founder and CEO FlixMobility: “We want to be a part of designing the future of mobility. The modern FlixBus fleet is already extremely environmentally friendly; Traveling by long-distance bus saves around 80% of emissions compared to a trip by car. Still, we continuously ask ourselves how we can make travelling even more sustainable. After successfully launching three all-electric buses, we now want to develop the first fuel cell-powered long-distance buses, together with Freudenberg technologies, to set another milestone in the history of mobility.”
The first E-Buses in France and Germany were produced by BYD and Yutong from China. Fuel cell power technology is now the chance for European bus producers to participate in the future of sustainable mobility. Initial conversations with bus producers are now taking place for the FlixBus fuel cell project.
Same performance without the emissions
Fuel cell powered vehicles should be able to drive at least 500 kilometers before refueling. Refueling itself should only take a maximum of 20 minutes, as hydrogen instead of diesel is being put in. The performance features of fuel cell powered buses, such as power and acceleration, should match the current long-distance bus standards.
Claus Möhlenkamp, CEO Freudenberg Sealing Technologies: “A hybrid system that intelligently combines battery and fuel cells is especially practical for heavy vehicles that cover long distances as purely electric-powered vehicles still do not have the scope to cover long distances.”
In the first phase of the FlixBus fuel cell project, a representative bus fleet will be equipped with the technology as a pilot. In the future, this is how we want to significantly contribute to reducing CO2 in street traffic. What we do, together with FlixMobility on European roads, will be a trailblazing move for other mobility sectors, too.”
Hydrogen: how the most common element in the universe is being utilized
Water is a chemical connection of the elements hydrogen and oxygen. Each water molecule consists of two hydrogen molecules and an oxygen molecule. Approximately 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, for a volume of 1.4 billion km³. In an electrolysis plant, energy and water are combined and electric energy is then used to divide hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydrogen itself is volatile and normally has neither a smell nor a color. Its gaseous molecule consists of two atoms that are to be stored at a high pressure – ideally in meticulously sealed tanks or gas bottles. Hydrogen strives to do one thing: rejoin oxygen and become water. The energy that is needed for its division, is then partly set free again by the hydrogen. This effect can be utilized within a fuel cell to produce and utilized energy that is climate neutral.
 Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg „Positive Umweltbilanz des Fernlinienbusverkehrs“ (2017) www.ifeu.de/positive-umweltbilanz-des-fernlinienbusverkehrs/
FlixMobility is a young mobility provider, offering new alternatives for convenient, affordable and environmentally-friendly travel via the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands. Thanks to a unique business model and innovative technology, the startup has quickly established Europe's largest long-distance bus network and launched the first green long-distance trains in 2018 as well as a pilot project for all-electric buses in Germany and France. Since 2013, FlixMobility has changed the way over 100 million people have traveled throughout Europe and created thousands of new jobs in the mobility industry. In 2018, FlixMobility launched FlixBus USA to bring this new travel alternative to the United States.
From locations throughout Europe and the United States, the FlixTeam handles technology development, network planning, operations control, marketing & sales, quality management and continuous product expansion. The daily scheduled service and green FlixBus fleet is managed by bus partners from regional SMEs, while FlixTrain operates in cooperation with private train companies. Through these partnerships, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and a strong international brand meet the experience and quality of tradition. The unique combination of technology start-up, e-commerce platform and classic transport company has positioned FlixMobility as a leader against major international corporations, permanently changing the European mobility landscape. For more information, visit www.flixbus.com