RVK: Sustainable mobility

Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (Cologne Regional Transport, RVK) is aware of its responsibility for the climate and is to become the latest pacesetter for KlimaExpo.NRW: With four hydrogen buses in use in the public transport service, the transport company certified in the environmental management system is relying on zero-emission drives. The passenger car fleet consists partly of electric vehicles and a fuel cell hybrid passenger car. The RVK buses are cleaned using rain water and solar panels on the company’s roofs produce around 400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which corresponds to the consumption of around 100 private households.

RVK provides service in the region around Cologne. The transport company is aware of its special environmental responsibility and has therefore had its environmental management system certified according to DIN EN ISO 14001. With this step, RVK is obliged to comply with all environmental legislation and, where possible, to use innovative solutions and state-of-the-art products. “In the coming years, we aim to reduce emissions to zero for our entire fleet,” says Managing Director Eugen Puderbach. They have been steadily preparing to implement this zero emissions strategy since 2008 – The company can already claim to have had a number of successes...

Climate protection objective:

  • end of 2016: Energy consultation and energy performance certificate for all buildings
  • 2017: Procurement of additional hydrogen buses
  • 2018: 33 per cent of the cars in the RVK fleet should be emission-free
  • 2020: At least 20 hydrogen buses + the energetic renovation of all buildings
  • 2021: 66 per cent of the cars should be emission-free
  • 2024: 100 per cent of the cars should be emission-free
  • 2030: The entire fleet will be operated as emission-free

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Photo: Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH

The solar roof on the garage at the Wemelskirchen branch. Since 2012, RVK has installed five solar systems on the garages at its branches. In 2014, the plants fed in a total of almost 400 MWh of electricity.

Fuel Cell Hybrid Buses in Regular Service

One of RVK’s most important projects is the use of what are now four hydrogen buses in regular service. For the car fleet, it has procured five e-vehicles. RVK is part of the colognE-mobil electromobility solutions project for the NRW collaborative project, E-Cologne.
RVK achieved a lot on the issue of climate protection, not just in its transport fleet but also in the area of buildings and administration. Since 2012, it has installed five solar systems on the garages at its branches. In this way, in 2014 it was able to feed in a total of almost 400,000 kilowatt hours of solar power. This corresponds to a CO2 saving of 250 tonnes. Last year, RVK also energetically renovated two branches.

Target: Zero emissions

RVK’s “zero emissions” project aims to convert the entire fleet of vehicles to emission-free drive technologies. The number of vehicles with alternative drive technologies will be increased gradually. “This, of course, also involves the establishment of an appropriate infrastructure, such as hydrogen filling stations and electric charging points,” added Eugen Puderbach. From 2017, the next hydrogen buses are to be under way in the RVK area and by 2020 there should already be 20 of these.

Photo: Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH

“Our hydrogen-powered fuel cell hybrid buses are a great innovation for non-polluting public transport in our region and a milestone on the path toward a zero-emission fleet of vehicles. Together with our partners, Stadtwerke Hürth and Brühl, as well as HyCologne, we are making a central contribution to the protection of man and the environment.”

Eugen Puderbach, Managing Director of Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH