Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 210

I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
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S O C I E T A L C H A L L E N G E S : T R A N S P O R T
Commission within the framework of the public
private partnership, in order to help develop and
deploy the technology further. With that funding
we hope to drive a triggering effect; the
technology clearly works reasonably well today,
and we need to increase the numbers of buses
deployed. We should be working to look at how
best to effectively maximise the impact of the
available funding.
How do you see this Hamburg and
London backing helping to support
the smaller cities across Europe
who may be more interested?
It seems to me that they are taking a leadership
role, and I believe that is quite critical given their
size and profile; it is extremely useful and
advantageous to have such cities making
public statements. For instance, Hamburg’s
declaration that from 2020 they will only have
zero-emission transport is key. It is clear that
the public sector can take an active role in
promoting that one way or another. Hamburg is
not the only city – London is doing it, and there
are other cities across Europe as well.
The more that public and visible statements are
made by such cities, the more likely it is that
the smaller ones will look up and consider work
F
or the European hydrogen and fuel cell community, the
signature of a letter of understanding by representatives of
five major European bus manufacturers, in November 2014,
welcomed by Hamburg and London, was a crucial moment in
promoting the potential of fuel cell electric buses. The public sector,
industry and European leaders evidently expressed their
confidence in the potential of the technology.
During the event, Portal sat down with the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
Joint Undertaking’s Carlos Navas, asking him about the importance
of the initiative and the next steps.
Can you underline why this memorandum is so
significant and your hopes for the future in respect to
hydrogen fuel cell buses?
It is very important for the bus industry to showcase progress and,
through such a public event as this, drive a level of certainty and
commitment to the technology.
For the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, it has been important
for industry to take that step and reach a level where a number of factors
fall into place. If the demand is there from operators, there are some
additional steps that can be taken by decision makers to ensure that we
are ready with the products. And indeed, we will be ready with the
products expected in the letter of understanding – between 500 and
1,000 buses across a timeframe of 2017-2020.
That kind of statement of intent has not been made before, and in fact,
some – much like London’s Kit Malthouse – have asked whether the
bus industry is indeed ready to take that step forward. And to publicly
showcase the potential in our forum today has been very important.
What role will the joint undertaking play in helping to
make the most of these ambitions – how will you
support manufacturers and cities going forward, and
what role do you see yourselves playing in Brussels?
What we are trying to do is to bring people together through a coalition
of the supply and demand side: the large manufacturers, investors and
suppliers, bus operators and even some development agencies from the
regional and national levels.
We have brought them together, and in fact they have been working
together since April 2014, to find out all the different aspects required
to progress in this area. Of course, today we are primarily a funding
agency: our main role is to manage funds provided by the European
Supporting sustainable transport
On the occasion of London and Hamburg expressing their intention to back fuel
cell electric buses,
Portal
spoke to the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint
Undertaking’s
Carlos Navas
Carlos Navas
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