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Report: Fuel cell buses deemed global success

Posted on April 17, 2009

Fuel cell buses have operated successfully in public transit fleets around the world, according to a new report written for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) by the Breakthrough Technologies Institute (BTI) and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE).

The report, “A Report on Worldwide Hydrogen Bus Demonstrations, 2002-2007,” examined hydrogen bus demonstrations in 19 cities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The report found that the vast majority of buses performed better than expected and were very popular among passengers. The buses also were popular with drivers, many of whom reported being less tired at the end of their shifts, primarily because fuel cell buses make significantly less noise than their internal combustion counterparts.

“Fuel cell buses were more reliable, better performing, and easier to integrate into public transportation fleets than many had expected,” said William Vincent, one of the authors of the report. “With additional research and development, they hold real promise to reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and petroleum dependence in public transportation fleets.”

The fuel cell buses typically were operated daily in 16-hour duty cycles. Collectively, they covered more than 1.6 million miles and served more than seven million passengers. The fuel cells were much more reliable than many transit agencies had expected and the operating life was increased significantly over previous generations of fuel cell technology.

To download the report, click here.

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