California Funding Xcelsior-Platform Vehicle Test with SunLine
New Flyer Industries reports that the California Energy Commission has approved a $2.1 million grant to conduct an advanced demonstration project involving a New Flyer XE40 Xcelsior electric transit bus with a 60-kilowatt Hydrogenics CelerityPlus fuel cell. The bus will be operated by Southern California’s SunLine Transit.
The bus will be similar to New Flyer’s zero-emission Xcelsior battery-electric buses, which were introduced last year (F&F, October 14, 2014). Like the battery bus, the 40-foot vehicle will have a Siemens Elfa driveline, but for SunLine, electricity will come from a low-pressure Celerity Plus fuel cell system by Hydrogenics.
“With the fuel cell on board, the bus has the ability to yield operating ranges longer than pure battery-electric buses, plus hydrogen fuel tanks on the bus can be refilled in less time than recharging batteries from plug-in electric chargers,” New Flyer says.
Fuels Cell Technology ‘A Natural Extension’
The manufacturer notes it has more than 40 years of experience with electric vehicle technology, starting with electric trolleys. “We designed the Xcelsior with public transit agencies in mind, using components and systems that are Buy America compliant and manufactured and supported by leading supply chain partners,” engineering and customer services VP Chris Stoddart said in a release.
“Integrating advanced fuel cell technology from Hydrogenics is a natural extension of our zero-emission product evolution,” Stoddart said.
The advantage of the New Flyer Battery Dominant Fuel Cell Bus with Celerity Plus over the all-battery is that it takes advantage of hydrogen fuel cell technology to extend range, CEC says.
“With fuel cell range extension feature on an electric bus, transit operators have more flexibility in arranging their routes and have less down time due to fast hydrogen refueling,” states a project summary.
“In addition to providing power for propulsion, the fuel cell also provides additional power for comfort ride like air-conditioning in summer or heat in the winter and, in some cases, provides additional power for climbing grades.
“These are all important considerations” as transit operators consider buying new zero emission buses,” CEC says. The battery dominant fuel cell bus “is an excellent addition to an existing all-electric fleet [and] a viable alternative solution to transit properties who have range anxiety with all-electric bus yet [are] interested in zero emission transportation.”
Altoona Testing Too
The bus will have 5,000-psi hydrogen fuel cylinders capable of storing 40 kilograms of fuel, and an 80-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack from New Flyer for regenerative braking, CEC says.
Also according to the CEC project summary, the agency anticipates operational savings of approximately $102,000 over the 12-year life of the bus. The project includes FTA Altoona testing of the New Flyer-Hydrogenics fuel cell vehicle.
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Source: New Flyer Industries with Fleets & Fuels follow-up