Eco-travel to Germany: a hydrogen-powered bus will link Prague with Dresden

The project to make an emission-free international bus route is in its early stages, with few specific details available.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 03.08.2022 17:06:00 (updated on 03.08.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Eco-travel might get easier. A hydrogen-powered bus route will link Prague to Dresden. The route will be a step toward increased use of green energy and a symbol of Czech and German cooperation.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her Czech counterpart Jan Lipavský discussed the matter at the end of July when they met in Prague.

"For both of us, it is important to look to the future with very specific projects as part of a strategic dialogue. An example of this future-oriented cooperation is the hydrogen-powered long-distance line between Prague and Dresden," Baerbock said.

Specific details such as when the route will start running were not disclosed, but the route will reportedly also include a stop in Ústí nad Labem.

The Czech Republic currently lacks infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles. The first public filling station for hydrogen vehicles opened in an industrial area of Ostrava in the Moravia-Silesia district on June 29. Several Czech cities, including Prague, have been or are planning to test hydrogen buses for their public transit fleets, but have not yet introduced them on a permanent basis.

Baerbock has previously said that the development and use of renewable and clean energies will help to break the European Union away from its dependence on fossil fuels from Russia. In March, she said that Germany’s goal was to reduce its dependence on Russian fuel sources to zero.

Germany’s Federal Foreign Office in January said that hydrogen is a key element in the global energy transition and an important factor in the fight against global warming. Hydrogen is sustainable in the long term when it is generated from renewable sources, the office added. Hydrogen-powered buses do not produce any tailpipe emissions.

“We see renewables as a way to secure our freedom and security – but, of course, the energy transition remains a fundamentally cooperative exercise for us. We stand ready to speed up international cooperation on renewable supply chains, on a global market for green hydrogen, and on storage and energy efficiency regulations,” Baerbock said in July at an international conference on climate change in Berlin.

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Hydrogen buses have been slow to catch on, even compared to electric buses. Montpellier, France, in January 2022 canceled a contract for 51 hydrogen-powered buses when it found that cost of operating a hydrogen bus was about six times as much as the cost of operating electric buses.

However, there are some cities that currently use hydrogen buses such as Aberdeen, Scotland, where in May this year the double-decker hydrogen buses in the fleet racked up 1 million miles since going into service. This would have generated 1,700 tons of CO2 if these buses used conventional fuel.

In the long term, the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines will be banned in the EU starting in 2035, and many vehicle manufacturers are already launching alternatives such as electric-powered cars.  

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