PEM Aims to Increase Range of Electric Buses With Fuel Cells

Graphic of an electric bus with fuel cell Copyright: © PEM RWTH Aachen University

The chair "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University and local partners from the service and transport sector are analyzing the power requirements of the auxiliary consumers of a battery-electric bus in real local transport. By decoupling the battery as the energy supplier for the drivetrain and using a fuel cell system as the energy supplier for auxiliary consumers, the project partners are pursuing the goal of increasing the range of electric buses without disproportionate investment costs over the operating time and extending the overall service life of the e-buses.

18-meter articulated bus based on Mercedes "Citaro G"

As part of the project, a vehicle based on the "Citaro G" bus model from Mercedes-Benz is to be gradually put into service. Once fully assembled, the 18-meter-long articulated bus is to be tested in real-life operation for one year. Until then, the project is to progress in several successive work packages. The requirements analysis at the beginning is followed by the technical system and component design. Subsequently, the underlying fuel cell system and the battery system will be developed, and the electrical/electronic architecture and control strategy will be created. Next up is the concept development for a modular construction kit. After homologation, testing, and validation, the bus will finally go into real operation on a trial basis.

Further information is provided in this press release.



Sebastian Hagedorn

Group Leader


+49 170 708 2111


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The project

  • "H2Bus": Analysis of the power requirements of the auxiliary consumers of a battery-electric bus in real local traffic

Research objectives

  • Development of a modular conversion kit for battery-electric buses to increase the range in retrofits
  • Use of the electrical and thermal energy of a PEM fuel cell for temperature control of the passenger cell
  • Development of a control strategy optimized in efficiency and lifetime of the fuel cell
  • Development of a concept for small series production and ramp-up planning of the fuel cell kit
  • One-year validation of the kit in real operation

Research and project partners

PEM of RWTH Aachen University (consortium leader)
AE Driven Solutions GmbH (German)
PEM Motion GmbH
Aachener Straßenbahn und Energieversorgungs-AG (ASEAG) (German)
Talbot-Services GmbH (German)


  • 09/01/2022 through 04/30/2025

Project sponsor

Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)

Funding code

  • 03EN5021E


Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)