Ballard Power Systems says a fuel cell electric bus powered by its FCveloCity-HD6 fuel cells has achieved a new durability record, with more than 25,000 hours of revenue service.
This figure is equivalent to operating a bus on a 14-hour daily schedule, five days per week, for 6.9 years with no significant maintenance to the fuel cell stack, a core engine component.
The bus – and several others nearing the 25,000-hour operating threshold – are part of a Transport for London fleet of eight fuel cell buses, all powered by FCveloCity engines. These buses, originally funded under the Clean Hydrogen in European Cities (CHIC) fuel cell bus program, have been carrying paying passengers on London’s Tower Gateway route since 2010.
“The achievement of 25,000 hours of revenue service is an important industry and corporate milestone,” says Rob Campbell, Ballard’s chief commercial officer. “Zero-emission fuel cell propulsion systems for heavy-duty vehicles such as transit buses have proven highly reliable in demanding applications. We are now moving into commercial scaling as market demand for fuel cell electric buses reaches an inflection point in key global markets.”
Ballard’s seven generations of FCveloCity fuel cell engines have been deployed in buses in 15 countries on five continents during the past 10 years, the company says. Over this period, Ballard has worked with 13 bus manufacturers to develop a variety of configurations that have been deployed in a wide range of climatic conditions and operated under a host of demanding duty cycles.
Ballard-powered fuel cell buses have now traveled more than 11 million kilometers (6.8 million miles) cumulatively in revenue service globally, equivalent to circling the globe 275 times.