Albi, October 15, 2022
First French manufacturer of hydrogen buses and precursor in the retrofit of hydrogen buses, SAFRA has just officially launched the marketing of its retrofit kit H2-PACK on the Autocar Expo exhibition which ends today after 4 days of exhibition in Lyon Eurexpo. This major annual event gathers every 2 years the actors of tourism and mobility by coach. Also on the occasion of this exhibition, SAFRA announced the first sale of its new hydrogen bus, the HYCITY®, with the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region.
A hydrogen retrofit kit for coaches
The H2-PACK®, a hydrogen retrofit kit dedicated to coaches, was officially presented at Autocar Expo, but with a head start in terms of marketing. It is currently being installed on 15 intercity coaches (Mercedes Intouro), following the contract won by SAFRA in 2021 with the Occitanie region. In parallel to this exhibition, a delegation from the Occitanie region and in the presence of Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie region, accompanied by Jean Rottner, President of the Grand Est region, visited the company in Albi for a tour of the workshops where the retrofit of the 15 coaches is currently taking place.
The H2-PACK® will use the same type 4 tanks as the HYCITY®, manufactured by Plastic Omnium, to power a fuel cell from the same manufacturer that develops 70 kW. A 350 kW Dana TM4 electric traction motor will take the place of the original gearbox and will also slow down the vehicle. The 71 kWh MICROVAST NMC battery will complete the architecture of the H2-PACK® and will be recharged exclusively by the fuel cell, without the need for external recharging.
Convinced for a long time that hydrogen technology offers a solution perfectly adapted to the use of heavy transport, heavy mobility, and therefore to public transport, SAFRA has developed an industrial offer for retrofitting diesel coaches into hydrogen coaches so that this interurban use can also benefit from de-carbonized and adapted solutions, allowing transport organizing authorities to quickly benefit from zero-emission vehicles, rechargeable in a few minutes.
Thanks to its long experience in the renovation of transport equipment, associated with a large know-how in hydrogen electric motorization, SAFRA has started to retrofit transport vehicles, starting with intercity coaches. As these vehicles require a very long range, hydrogen is a very relevant solution for this use. The retrofit of coaches is also perfectly in line with an energy transition policy thanks to the extension of the vehicles’ lifespan. A perfect answer in terms of sustainable mobility. The concept of the retrofit kit consists of replacing the thermal drive train with a 100% electric drive train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The installation of this kit includes: removal of the engine and tanks, installation of a new energy chain, in compliance with regulatory constraints, connection to the existing drive train, integration of new computers and software, interfacing with existing equipment, and of course the approval of the transformations according to the technical and administrative provisions set out in the decree of 13 March 2020.
First sale of the HYCITY
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has just placed an order for a HYCITY®, a zero-emission, full-hydrogen vehicle manufactured by SAFRA, via a central purchasing office.
The announcement of this very first order was made on the SAFRA stand in the presence of Paul Vidal, regional councillor in charge of transport for the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, who confirmed the region’s desire to move away from fossil fuels by decarbonizing their passenger transport fleet.
This zero-emission bus will run on the Lyon-Montluel line starting in September 2023. This is a strategic line of 25 km and 46 stops, with vehicles making 24 round trips per day, i.e., a bus every 15 minutes at peak times, and above all, more than 250,000 trips per year. The introduction of the HYCITY will make it possible to drastically reduce pollutant emissions at the entrance to Lyon, thus strongly anticipating the regulatory obligations (ZFE) for this interurban line.
As a reminder, the HYCITY® integrates a 2×125 kW ZF motorized axle, a 45 kW Symbio fuel cell (produced in Vénissieux / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), a 130 kWh MICROVAST NMC battery, all of which is supplied with hydrogen thanks to the 6 Plastic OMNIUM type 4 tanks that allow 35 kg of hydrogen to be stored on the roof. The battery is only used for peak power, the fuel cell working at a constant power level. The HYCITY® full H2 therefore uses only hydrogen as traction energy, and recharges its battery autonomously, without any need for a recharging infrastructure.
Safra, a French company, is a historic player in the renovation of passenger transport equipment and a pioneer in hydrogen mobility. The company’s strategy is based on environmental, societal and sovereignty issues, in order to become the leading gas pedal of the energy transition through the sustainable decarbonization of public transport in Europe.
Safra offers solutions that perfectly meet the needs of transport authorities for the decarbonization of their fleets: the construction and marketing of hydrogen-powered buses, the retrofitting of diesel coaches with hydrogen, the renovation and heavy maintenance of passenger transport vehicles, and customer service. More information on: www.safra.fr