Four hydrogen internal combustion engine buses that were used to shuttle passengers during the 2006 World Cup in Germany will be returned to service as public transportation vehicles in Berlin. As the online version of Der Spiegel reports, the buses are part of a larger move towards alternative fuel transportation options in the German capital and across Europe.

The hydrogen ICE buses are made by Neoman Bus and the company is negotiating with other possible customers in Europe to sell another four to six dozen buses starting in 2008, said Thorsten Wagner, a company spokesman. The Berlin Transportation Company (BVG) is looking to hydrogen "with great optimism," said BVG spokesman Klaus Wazlak, even though the hydrogen buses cost more than twice as much as a diesel one and Wazlak admits that implementing the hydrogen economy will be "tricky." Now there's an understatement.

In case you're wondering about the "HyFleet:Cute" words on the picture above: the hydrogen buses in Berlin are part of a European Union project called Hydrogen for Clean Urban Transport in Europe. An incredibly awkward way to get a nice acronym.

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[Source: Alex Bakst / Der Spiegel]


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