A hydrogen fuel bus can be refuelled quickly and easily on the go. On average, a hydrogen bus takes only 3-5 minutes to refuel. As hydrogen refuelling infrastructure expands, it is becoming increasingly more convenient to refuel hydrogen buses.
Are hydrogen buses safe?
While there are always risks when handling combustible fuels, hydrogen is safe to use for public transportation when guidelines are properly followed.
Petrol and diesel are far more flammable than hydrogen. This is because spilled petrol and diesel pool on the ground, creating a highly flammable surface. Fires caused by the ignition of these fuels can burn at high temperatures for a long time.
Hydrogen, on the other hand, disperses rapidly if spilled, rising up into the air at 72 kilometres per hour. This means that the flammable fuel is quickly dispersed into the atmosphere reducing the chance of it igniting.
If the hydrogen does ignite, it produces flames that generate a low radiant heat and the fire should quickly burn out. This is due to the absence of carbon.
Hydrogen is a colourless, odourless gas, which means it can be hard to spot a spill. However, hydrogen refuelling stations operate strict procedures to prevent accidents, including the use of earthing cables which prevent sparks caused by static electricity.
Buses are also fitted with hydrogen detectors that immediately notify operators should a spill occur.
Overall, hydrogen is considerably safer than petrol and diesel alternatives. Although it is a relatively new fuel source, safety is a high priority in all research and development in this field.