FlixBus expects that moves toward decarbonisation and zero-emission in the coach market will see a mix of technologies, including battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell-electric, deployed in vehicles across its network.
It made the prediction in announcing further details of its involvement with Daimler Buses in that OEM’s work to deliver battery-electric coaches that starts with a research project over the coming four years. Those vehicles are intended to be suitable for long-distance scheduled services, with funding for the project coming from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
FlixBus says as part of that work, it will “continuously evaluate performance to ascertain in real time that all needed requirements are fulfilled to ensure operational efficiency.” It will also take a view to long-term scalability of the Daimler Buses technology into its fleet.
However, that involvement in the Electrified Coach undertaking in Germany sits alongside existing work by FlixBus as part of the HyFleet project. HyFleet also involves Freudenberg e-Power Systems, ZF and an as yet unnamed coach OEM with the goal of FlixBus placing hydrogen fuel cell-electric coaches into service in Europe.
On the Electrified Coach work, FlixBus will provide data from its existing fleet to define “representative operational cycles” on long-distance scheduled services. It will also evaluate operational properties of the proposed solutions and be involved in validation of the two planned demonstrator battery-electric coaches “in real operating conditions.”
Daimler Buses first announced its intentions around battery-electric coaches in May 2022, with further details following at the end of the year. It expects to offer such vehicles in production form under both the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands by 2030.
Speaking about FlixBus’s involvement in the Electrified Coach project, Founder and CEO of parent Flix André Schwämmlein says that the business has “been striving to reduce our environmental impact over and over by investigating alternative drives and enabling offsetting of our carbon footprint” since it was founded.
Adds Mr Schwämmlein: “With Daimler Buses and reliable research partners sharing our vision of a greener future in transportation, we can now pursue another milestone towards our goal of reshaping mobility and offering green, technology-driven and still affordable travel solutions.”