Contracts for the Next Generation Fuel Cell for Transit Buses
Southern California’s US Hybrid will step in where Connecticut’s UTC Power left off, and will build the next generation of fuel cells for transit buses with the support of the Federal Transit Administration. The announcement was made yesterday by Calstart, which administers the FTA project.
United Technologies sold the UTC fuel cell business to Oregon’s ClearEdge Power late last year, but ClearEdge focuses solely on station fuel cell applications. UTC had been developing a fuel cell unit that would be lighter yet more powerful than the ones being used in transit buses today (F&F, January 25).
“In effect, US Hybrid is taking over contracts that had been previously awarded to UTC,” Calstart says. The FTA funding “will allow US Hybrid to fabricate, integrate, test and validate an advanced-generation fuel cell with the intent to commercialize the technology for transit use.”
US Hybrid Has Been a UTC Power Supplier
“With these new contracts, US Hybrid is gaining access to world class technology, staff, facility and equipment,” Calstart president and CEO John Boesel said in the late-Tuesday release. “We are encouraged and excited to be working with an entrepreneurial firm like US Hybrid to make zero-emission fuel cell buses economically viable.”
Calstart notes that US Hybrid has supplied components cathode air blowers, DI pumps and power converters to UTC and other fuel cell suppliers for more than a decade. Moreover, Calstart notes, US Hybrid is experienced in system design, integration and operation of fuel cell shuttle buses, specialty vehicles, passenger cars, and supporting fuel cells with component electronics.
US Hybrid Holds a Limited Technology License
US Hybrid will complete the fuel cell power plant development, fabrication and validation at a United Technologies facility in South Windsor, Conn. facility, with technical and management support from staff in Torrance, Calif. US Hybrid opened a new integration facility there last month.
UTC retains key intellectual property related to its former PureMotion fuel cell line. “US Hybrid is negotiating for licensing the core technology,” says company president Abas Goodarzi. US Hybrid holds a limited license, he told F&F, applicable to FTA work.
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Source: Calstart with Fleets & Fuels follow-up