Federal Transit Administration funding CALSTART projects to develop cost-effective, zero-emission low carbon fuel cell buses

CALSTART has received $8 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration for projects geared towards the development of zero-emission, low carbon fuel cell buses that are more affordable.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced awards today totaling nearly $8 million to CALSTART for four separate projects that are aimed at making zero emission, low carbon fuel cell buses more affordable and competitive with diesel buses.

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff made the announcement at BAE Systems in Endicott, NY, which makes hybrid propulsion systems for buses and trucks. “Federal investments in fuel cell technology and other green energy sources have been a tremendous catalyst for America’s innovators as they find new ways to power public transportation for the future,” said Rogoff. “We’re proud of our role in supporting cutting-edge research that protects and creates good jobs here in upstate New York and around the nation.”

“The FTA’s investments announced today are providing the foundation for healthier air in American cities, and helping U.S. companies develop globally competitive technology,” said CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel.

CALSTART has partnered with the FTA since the formation of the National Fuel Cell Bus Program in 2006. Over the period of the program, fuel cell life times (in transit operations) have more than doubled while costs have declined by 50%.

The FTA provided a total of $13.6 million in total for eight projects nationwide.

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

American Fuel Cell Bus – $2,732,147 Builds a next-generation fuel cell bus with latest fuel cell technology and demonstrates in transit service in greater Cleveland area for two years. This project builds on success of the American Fuel cell Bus project, funded under National Fuel Cell Bus Program, with a less costly, more reliable system. Project partners and suppliers are Greater Cleveland Transit Authority, Cleveland, OH; ElDorado National, Riverside, CA; BAE Systems, Endicott, NY; and Ballard Power Systems, Lowell, MA.

Battery-Dominant Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus– $4,251,307 Develops and demonstrates a battery-dominant fuel cell bus based on a commercial hybrid platform, and smaller, less expensive fuel cells. The bus will operate in similar service to the American Fuel Cell Bus, allowing direct comparison. Project partners and suppliers are SunLine Transit Agency, Thousand Palms, CA; ElDorado National, Riverside, CA; and BAE Systems, Endicott, NY.

Fuel Cell Bus Altoona Testing– $554,316 Comprehensive testing of an existing fuel cell bus, essential for commercialization of fuel cell electric buses. This project will help develop consistent procedures and guidelines for testing all fuel cell buses. The project partner is National Bus Testing Facility, Altoona, PA.

Best Practices in Hydrogen Fueling and Maintenance Facilities – $189,999 Develops best practices guide for transit agencies in hydrogen fueling and maintenance facilities.