US Hybrid recieves contract to design, integrate and deliver fuel cell shuttle buses in Hawaii

The Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies has awarded US Hybrid a contract to design, integrate and deliver its H2Ride Fuel Cell Plug-In Shuttle Bus.

A shuttle bus featuring US Hybrids' plug-in fuel cell technology.
A shuttle bus featuring US Hybrids' plug-in fuel cell technology.

US Hybrid has been awarded a contract by the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT) to design, integrate, and deliver its H2Ride Fuel Cell Plug-In Shuttle Bus for operation by the County of Hawaii Mass Transit Agency’s (MTA) HELE-ON Big Island bus service. The project is funded by the State of Hawaii and Office of Naval Research via the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI).

Integrated at US Hybrid’s Honolulu facility, the 25 passenger shuttle bus utilizes a 30 kW fuel cell fueled by a 20 kg hydrogen storage and delivery system. The fuel cell and 28 kWhr lithium-ion battery power the vehicle’s 200 kW powertrain, air conditioning and auxiliary systems. Onboard batteries are recharged by regenerative braking. The US Hybrid fuel cell, powertrain and vehicle controller optimizes power delivered by the energy storage and fuel cell power plant.

Upon notification of the award, US Hybrid’s President and CEO, Dr. Abas Goodarzi remarks, “At this critical time in energy advancement, we are honored to have our hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology selected by HNEI, the Hawaii County MTA and HCATT to lead the way for the adoption of zero emission mass transportation throughout the State of Hawaii.” 

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie comments, “I am proud of the state’s leadership role in providing the funding to introduce the first hydrogen fuel cell electric bus in support of public transportation in Hawaii. My vision is to leverage opportunities like this to introduce clean energy transportation services that utilize our own renewable energy resources to the benefit of our local economy, while helping the people of Hawaii get where they need to go.”

Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi adds, “This new fuel cell electric bus is the first tangible step in realizing our vision of transforming the County of Hawaii public bus system into one that is powered by our island’s incredible renewable energy resources. Instead of exporting our citizen’s hard-earned dollars offshore, we will be able to keep this money in our local economy creating new jobs and protecting us from the swings of the fossil fuel markets. We would also like to thank the Governor for investing in this project and allowing us to lead the way for the rest of the State of Hawaii.”

HCATT Director Stan Osserman has also expressed his support for the project: “This project demonstrates that Hawaii takes its role in leading the U.S. in clean transportation technology very seriously. We’ve already established ourselves as industry leaders with Department of Defense projects related to alternative fuel vehicles, and we are moving forward to make our counties and the state leaders in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.”

HNEI’s Director, Dr. Richard Rocheleau, echoed these sentiments: “We look forward to evaluating the performance of this system and helping to develop ways to reduce the cost of the hydrogen infrastructure to the point where private industry can lead future hydrogen development.”

The H2Ride Fuel Cell Plug-In Shuttle Bus is scheduled for deployment with Hawaii MTA in early 2015.