20 New Flyer Hydrogen Buses at Two California Agencies
To Be First-Ever Manufacturer-Integrated FC Buses in USA:
‘Production Volume to Gain Efficiencies & Drive Costs Down’
Two large California transit agencies will each deploy ten hydrogen fueled New Flyer buses under the Fuel Cell Electric Bus Commercialization Consortium. updated February 18 & 21
FCEBCC will see 20 forty-foot New Flyer Xcelsior XHE40 buses with Ballard fuel cells in service with AC Transit (the San Francisco Bay Area’s Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District) and OCTA, Southern California’s Orange County Transportation Authority.
The FCEBCC program is being administered by CTE, the Atlanta-based Center for Transportation and the Environment. The vehicles are to be “delivered and in service for everyday use by December of 2018,” CTE says.
Linde for Fueling Infrastructure
The initiative marks the first-ever deployment of hydrogen fuel cell buses that have been totally integrated by a North American bus manufacturer, says CTE program director Jaimie Levin. Linde is to supply hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
“This important program provides New Flyer and our electric propulsion suppliers the production volume to gain efficiencies and drive costs down,” New Flyer executive VP sales Paul Smith says in his firm’s FCEBCC announcement.
Backed by CARB, Cap-and-Trade
The FCEBCC program is backed by a $22.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board through California Climate Investments, a statewide cap-and-trade program. Additionally, both the Bay Area and South Coast Air Quality Management Districts (BAAQMD and SCAQMD) are providing $1 million grants.
“The consortium’s work will result in the largest deployment of fuel cell buses to this point in the United States,” Ballard commercial VP Karim Kassam said in a Ballard release.
Ballard, Siemens, Hexagon Lincoln
“This program represents an important next step in the broader adoption of fuel cell buses in the U.S. market,” he said.
The 85-kilowatt “FCveloCity-HD” fuel cells from Ballard will charge an onboard battery system that will in turn drive a Siemens Elfa powertrain. Single-fill range is projected at 300 miles. Hexagon Lincoln is supplying hydrogen fuel cylinders.
“The project will build zero-emission buses that are able to replace conventional internal combustion engine buses one for one,” says CTE.
‘Fuel Cell Electric Buses Match Conventional Buses’
“Fuel cell electric buses match conventional buses in range, speed of fueling, and flexible deployment on almost every route, including steep hills and freeways, while providing quiet, vibration-free, and fuel efficient service with nearly double the fuel economy,” the organization says.
CTE notes that the hydrogen fuel cell buses for AC Transit and OCTA will be able to fuel as quickly as diesel or CNG/compressed natural gas buses.
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Source: CTE with Fleets & Fuels follow-up