Following the Conceptualisation of the project, the next task is to find ways to meet the costs of the project and commence planning.
Given the current state of development of FCBs and HRSs, it is highly likely that today the additional costs over and above the costs of buying and operating conventional diesel or natural gas buses can only be met by grant funds of some sort and not from normal commercial finance arrangements. One of the goals of FCB demonstration at scale is to reduce these additional costs and advance the shift from grant funds for projects to normal (i.e. commercial) bus fleet finance arrangements.
Clearly, the operational stage is the most important aspect of a fuel cell bus project. It is the reason for embarking on the project and will provide critical information to determine the future of the application of H2 and FCB technology at that site. It will also be the most public activity of the project and therefore, most open to scrutiny. Success is critical, and only careful and thorough planning can achieve this. The saying “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail” certainly holds true when applied to an FCB Project.
This Section is divided into:
Sourcing Finances – both in terms of determining and covering the costs.
Planning for HRS Operations and FCB Operations– general and specific challenges and Best Practice Solutions.