Rampini and Loop Energy launch hydrogen powered bus

Designer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells for commercial mobility Loop Energy has joined Italian bus manufacturer Rampini Carlo SpA to unveil its first hydrogen-electric bus, the Hydron, at the Next Mobility Exhibition in Milan today (12th October 2022).
Rampini and Loop Energy launch hydrogen powered bus
Hydron Bus. Courtesy of Rampini.

Rampini is the third Loop Energy customer to launch a hydrogen-electric bus platform in as many months. It comes after Rampini decided to stop producing diesel buses in 2018 to focus on offering electric platforms, a trend the industry is following.

Fuel efficiency was the primary driver in Rampini’s decision to select Loop Energy’s fuel cell for its hydrogen-electric bus platform. Lower fuel consumption in buses can provide cost savings on fuel, extended range and smaller physical footprint requirements, decreasing the total cost of ownership for fleet operators.

With more than 50 years of experience manufacturing commercial vehicles, Rampini has committed to offering a diverse range of zero-emissions platforms. The Hydron is the company’s first commercially available hydrogen-electric bus. It joins its battery-electric bus, waste collection truck and power equipment product offerings operating in Spain, France, Germany, Austria and Greece. Rampini has several Hydron buses in production with Loop Energy fuel cells.

Rampini developed the Hydron bus using its battery-electric bus model, with modifications to incorporate fuel storage and a Loop Energy S300 (30 kW) fuel cell engine. At 8-metres long, the bus has capacity for up to 48 passengers and is fitted with a 10.8 kilogram hydrogen tank that allows for a range of 450 kilometres. The extended range of the bus means operators do not have to refuel while in service.

“Rampini is leading the way with their commitment to transition away from diesel and deliver an electric vehicle product line” said Loop Energy President & CEO, Ben Nyland. “The launch of yet another hydrogen-electric bus by experienced manufacturers is a strong indicator of the growing demand worldwide,” said. “I was fortunate to tour Rampini’s production centre in Umbria, Italy, and I am extremely impressed by their commitment and capacity to manufacture high-performing electric buses to meet the rapidly growing needs of Italian fleet operators.”

Rampini General Manager, Fabio Magnoni, added that the company decided, a few years ago, to focus on electric buses instead of diesel and that the interest from customers around Europe has been exceptional.

“To offer a hydrogen-electric bus means we can deliver fleet operators a reliable and economical zero-emissions solution” said Mr Magnoni.

Home to some of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world, Italy is well-positioned to deliver zero-emissions vehicles to European and other global markets. Various incentive programmes, including the EU-funded Recovery Plan to develop zero-emission public transit vehicles, mean numerous manufacturers and fleet operators are promptly transitioning to hydrogen-electric vehicles.

Rampini joins fellow Loop Energy customers Aluminum Revolutionary Chassis Company (Australia), NGVI (South Korea) and Mobility & Innovation (Slovakia) in unveiling a hydrogen-electric bus platform in 2022. All the buses will undergo trials with fleet operators in their respective markets.

The bus will also be showcased at the FIAA Bus and Coach Fair in Madrid on October 18, 2022.

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