CALSTART Receives Awards from FTA for Zero Emission Bus Projects

CALSTART announces it has received funding awards from the FTA to develop economically viable zero emission fuel cell buses.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced awards totaling $6.6 million to CALSTART for a variety of projects that will help to make zero emission fuel cell buses economically viable. 

“We are extremely pleased with the announcement by Secretary LaHood. Matched on a 1:1 basis by other sources, these federal grants will play an important role in accelerating the market adoption of zero emission fuel cell buses. These awards are investments in better public health, energy security and climate protection,” says CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel.

CALSTART has been partnered with the FTA since the formation of the National Fuel Cell Bus Program in 2005. Over the period of the program, fuel cell life times (in transit operations) have more than doubled while costs have declined by 50%. 

“On behalf of our many industry and transit partners, I want to thank Senator Boxer (D-CA), Congressman Schiff (D-CA), Congressman Ken Calvert (R-Riverside), and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-Thousand Palms) for their leadership and support of the National Fuel Cell Bus Program. These members of Congress have recognized the important role of the federal government in assisting in the development of zero emission bus technology as a way to decrease our dependence on oil and improve urban air quality,” says Boesel.

The FTA provided a total of $13.1 million in total for 11 projects nationwide. The agency received 26 proposals seeking a total of $52 million in federal funds.

A summary of the five awards to CALSTART are provided below:

Advanced Generation Fuel Cell Bus: Integrates a smaller, lighter and more powerful United Technologies Corporation (UTC) fuel cell in a full-size transit bus built by New Flyer Industries, utilizing a BAE Systems hybrid electric drivetrain. CTTransit will operate the bus in Hartford, CT.

BUS 2010 Next Gen Compound Hybrid Fuel Cell Bus: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency with BAE Systems will integrate and test an enhanced 30 kW Hydrogenics fuel cell to power the auxiliary systems in a lower cost commercial hybrid powertrain. 

American Fuel Cell Bus Enhancement: Ballard will develop a more robust and affordable fuel cell for integration and testing in a bus operated by SunLine Transit Agency in the Coachella Valley. SunLine has the long history of deploying and testing fuel cell buses of any transit district in the country. 

High Voltage Air Conditioning Converter: US Hybrid, a Torrance-based company, will develop and test a high-voltage, high efficiency, converter to power air conditioning systems for hybrid buses. Air conditioning systems are one of the biggest sources of energy consumption beyond the traction system.

U.S. Fuel Cell Bus Market Analysis: CALSTART will conduct an analysis to assess the current market viability of fuel cell buses and provide recommendations on actions to accelerate the growth of the segment.