Procurement of HRS and FCBs: General Challenges and Best Practice Solutions


Procurement of HRS and FCBs: General Challenges and Best Practice Solutions


Best Practice Solutions

Running separate but linked tenders for FCBs and HRS to time them to come online together

PTOs know about buses; other players such as energy suppliers are more likely to know more about HRS equipment; PTA/PTO know about site works.

The market for both HRSs and FCBs is immature

  • Do a market review: Determine which manufacturers are willing and able to deliver
  • Very important to use manufacturers and experienced sites as knowledge resources; use an RFI to the test market

Finding a tender team that has the expertise to integrate FCB/HRS specifics in line with local tender and contract law

Gather a multi-skilled team and involve them early – legal/technical/finance – purchasing/energy/mobility; ensure that relevant stakeholders are engaged in aspects of evaluation and set up a regular dialogue with them during the process

Issues such as warranties and responsibility for maintenance and spare parts in a non-standardised supply chain;
responsibilities of suppliers’ third-party contractors add to complexities; unclear responsibilities for solving challenges that may arise can derail the installation of innovative systems

  • Matters that are standard to diesel buses need to be made explicit with FCBs, e.g. type and size of fuel tanks; intended refuelling regime (max. allowed time to fill)
  • Ensure that all parties involved on the supplier side are clear on who has ultimate responsibility and accountability for problems that may arise
  • An iterative process to contracts, particularly if many parties involved
  • Detailed and clear contractual agreements will be paramount in resolving problems

Ownership of equipment can be complex

Where there are multiple funders, ownership of the HRS and buses needs particular attention; ownerships arrangements can vary, e.g. one site arranged to become owners of the HRS after ten years when the H2 supply contract with the HRS supplier ends, to ensure they could continue to get a competitive H2 price

Reliability and scalability cannot be assumed

Negotiate for scalability and specifically address reliability requirements – the most essential factor for a public transport system (e.g. the length of the overnight windows during which the HRS will always be available)

  • Maintaining communications with stakeholders throughout the procurement process
  • Significant training time is required for bus drivers/maintenance technicians/bus depot people
  • Communications: These need to be continued throughout the procurement process with the relevant stakeholders, in particular, local authorities (including fire brigades); funders should feel informed at all times
  • Training by suppliers: Factor this into all procurement documentation

Safety assessments require attention

To address potential reservations by local authorities lacking experiences, be pro-active; consider resourcing an assessment for the HRS and the Bus Maintenance Facility; professional expertise can be beneficial to ensure compatibility

Procurement of HRS and FCB – Useful Resources