Southern Calif. transit rolls out hydrogen-powered bus

Posted on November 14, 2011

SunLine Transit's fuel cell bus, powered by BAE Systems' HybriDrive propulsion system.
SunLine Transit's fuel cell bus, powered by BAE Systems' HybriDrive propulsion system.  
Thousand Palms, Calif.-based SunLine Transit Agency unveiled a new, 7th generation, hydrogen-powered fuel cell bus, the “American Fuel Cell Bus,” which will contribute to green transportation while creating thousands of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

The state-of-the-art, zero-emission American Fuel Cell Bus that SunLine is putting on the road is the product of a federal, state and private-sector partnership. Over the last five years, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has invested more than $75 million through the National Fuel Cell Bus Program to help spur projects like this through an entire lifecycle — from the early research stage all the way to the real-world testing of commercially viable clean-fuel vehicles that deliver a reliable, dependable ride. In addition to FTA, funding partners include CALSTART, the California Air Resources Board, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The American Fuel Cell bus is comprised almost entirely of American-made components by companies such as Ballard Power Systems in Lowell, Mass., BAE System Controls in Johnson City, N.Y., and El Dorado National in Riverside, Calif. At least 24 companies, in states from Texas to Minnesota to Georgia, had a hand in making the bus — creating and sustaining hundreds of manufacturing, engineering, and assembly jobs in the process.

With the launch, transit agencies across the country will now have the ability to purchase a 40-foot fuel cell bus that meets the FTA Buy America Requirements. This marks a significant milestone in hydrogen fuel cell technology development for the transportation industry.

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