May 19, 2014

Ballard, partners debut fuel-cell bus at UC Irvine

Ballard Power Systems signed an agreement with CALSTART, a member-supported organization dedicated to clean transportation alternatives, to deploy a fuel-cell hybrid bus in 2015 at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), campus, together with partners BAE Systems, ElDorado National and UCI.

Ballard will supply the company's sixth generation FCvelocity-HD6 power module, along with engineering services support. The 150 kilowatt power module features a control unit that interfaces with a system controller, making it a "plug-and-play" product for any fuel-cell or hybrid fuel-cell bus platform. The module also offers significant advances in durability, power density and fuel efficiency compared to earlier generation products.

This will be the sixth fuel cell hybrid bus produced based on the American Fuel Cell Bus (AFCB) configuration. The AFCB configuration utilizes Ballard's fuel cell module to provide primary power, in combination with BAE Systems' propulsion and power management systems deployed in an Eldorado National 40-foot transit bus.

This bus configuration was first introduced in 2011 with SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, Calif., and will be the fourth AFCB bus manufactured at the ElDorado National bus manufacturing facility in Riverside, Calif., as the team moves away from prototype development to a more commercial production model.

"We are very pleased to continue our successful AFCB partnership with BAE Systems and ElDorado National and look forward to working with the University of California in Irvine,” Steve Karaffa, Ballard chief commercial officer said. “This bus platform offers transit operators a zero-emission option without compromising bus performance, range or availability."

The project with UC Irvine is funded through the California Energy Commission under its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.

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