Fuel Cell Bus Trials on the BRT Hikoboshi Line

First concrete initiative to increase commercial FC mobility options in local transportation

Fukuoka Prefecture, Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT), and Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) have entered an agreement to conduct trials of a small fuel cell electric bus (FC bus) that runs on hydrogen, an environmentally-friendly next-generation energy source, on the BRT Hikoboshi Line (officially “Hitahikosan Line BRT”), a bus rapid transit system planned for launch around the summer of 2023.

This initiative will be the first implementation of the partnership agreement between Fukuoka Prefecture and CJPT, entered into on December 26 last year, to expand commercial FC mobility and create a sustainable hydrogen society with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality. Fukuoka Prefecture and CJPT will work with JR Kyushu to hold the trials with a view to bringing FC mobility to local transportation.

With the cooperation of communities along the line, JR Kyushu is working toward the launch of the BRT Hikoboshi Line, which is under development based on the concept of being “kind to people, communities, and the future.” Expectations are that the trials of a next-generation small FC bus will further advance efforts toward regional development as an environmentally friendly transportation option.

Going forward, Fukuoka Prefecture, CJPT, and JR Kyushu will collaborate in preparing to launch the trial runs as follows.

Overview of the initiative

Trial runs for the practical application of next-generation small FC buses that run on hydrogen energy

Significance and aims of the trials

  • The trials aim to deepen awareness of hydrogen as a future energy source by using it to operate a local transportation system familiar to residents while achieving region-wide sustainable growth.
  • By verifying the feasibility of adopting FC mobility, the trials will increase the options for local transportation and help create a green transportation system.
  • While bringing the use of hydrogen to local transportation, the trials will lead to the development of areas along the Hitahikosan Line BRT.

Roles of each party

Fukuoka Prefecture: Overall coordination and support for improving the environment of the trial runsCJPT: Development planning for the next-generation hydrogen bus and coordination of the trial vehicleJR Kyushu: Operation of the trial vehicle on the BRT Hikoboshi Line

Trial vehicle

Vehicle styling

Drawing on the image of hydrogen as an environmentally friendly energy, the trial vehicle is styled to reflect the blue skies prevalent along the route of the BRT Hikoboshi Line. The use of a pattern that depicts the flowing robes of Orihime?a name for star Vega and lover of Hikoboshi (the star Altair) from Japanese legend?creates a unified and original styling for all vehicles to operate on the BRT Hikoboshi Line.

Vehicle overview

Small FC bus1 vehicle

FC bus based on the Toyota Coaster, 20-seater*1 with actual seating for 14 (planned)

*1Includes driver’s seat

Length x Width x Height6,990 mm x 2,100 mm x 2,630 mm

Second-generation FC system from Mirai FCEV, with outstanding environmental performance of zero CO2 emissions during operation*2

*2FC mobility options are environmentally friendly vehicles that use a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, which does not generate CO2 emissions during use.

Trial period

Approximately fall 2023 to spring 2025 (planned)

Additional information

Detailed information, including the start date and timetables of the trial to be conducted prior to the trial runs and the actual trial runs, will be announced at a later date.