Canada-based fuel cell company Ballard Power Systems has announced its membership in the Fuel Cell Electric Bus Commercialization Consortium (FCEBCC), a large-scale project for which funding has now been committed to support the deployment of 20 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric buses at two California transit agencies.
According to Ballard, 10 buses are to be deployed with Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit), and 10 buses are to be deployed with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
The FCEBCC project is funded and sponsored by the California Air Resources Board through the California Climate Investments program; the Bay Area Air Quality Management District; and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The Center for Transportation and Environment, a nonprofit member-based organization, is providing project management and oversight.
Ballard says it will be providing 20 of its FCveloCity-HD 85 kW fuel cell engines to New Flyer of America Inc. Ballard’s engines will power New Flyer 40-foot Xcelsior XHE40 fuel cell buses, which are planned to be delivered and in service with AC Transit and the OCTA by the end of 2018.
The buses are to be supported by advanced hydrogen fueling infrastructure provided by The Linde Group.
Karim Kassam, Ballard’s vice president – commercial, says, “This program represents an important next step in the broader adoption of fuel cell buses in the U.S. market. The consortium’s work will result in the largest deployment of fuel cell buses to this point in the United States. Ballard looks forward to supporting AC Transit and OCTA in their use of clean energy fuel cell buses to help reduce dependence on petroleum and to reduce pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions in California.”
The New Flyer Xcelsior buses, powered by Ballard engines, have a range of approximately 300 miles; can be refueled in less than 10 minutes, without the need for overnight plug-in battery recharging; can replace conventional buses without compromising operational performance; and generate zero tailpipe emissions.
According to Ballard, these buses demonstrate a fuel economy 1.4 times higher than diesel buses and 1.9 times higher than compressed natural gas buses.
This FCEBCC is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.
California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and more, with at least 35% of these investments being made in disadvantaged and low-income communities.