Ballard Power Systems announced that ENC fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs), powered by Ballard FCveloCity®-HD modules, have successfully completed rigorous testing at The Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center under a program established by the FTA.
Furthermore, ENC FCEBs are now eligible for a $300,000 voucher incentive under the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). The California Air Resources Board and HVIP are focused on accelerating the purchase of cleaner, more efficient trucks and buses in California (https://www.californiahvip.org/eligible-technologies/).
ENC’s 40-foot Axess Fuel Cell Electric Bus is now available for sale with the substantial HVIP incentive in California, enabling transit agencies to electrify bus fleets and meet future regulations for zero-emission transit. These buses offer extended range, exceeding 260 miles, can be quickly refueled with hydrogen within 20 minutes and ensure full route flexibility, according to the company.
ENC has extensive experience in manufacturing reliable transit buses, having produced 20 FCEBs in its Riverside, Calif., plant, all powered by Ballard in collaboration with BAE Systems, under the American Fuel Cell Bus (AFCB) program. The latest version of El Dorado National’s Axess FCEB offers additional hydrogen storage, thereby extending the range beyond 300 miles.
There are currently 21 FCEBs in operation with several transit agencies in California, some with many years of revenue service. These buses operate on long routes with demanding duty cycles under extreme weather conditions. This includes the Coachella Valley, where Sunline Transit currently operates eight fuel cell electric buses.
According to Lauren Skiver, CEO/GM of Sunline Transit Agency, “We have put the systems in place to accurately review the performance, costs, lifecycle and reliability of our (FCEB) fleet ... and they are meeting availability targets.”
“Operationally, our hydrogen fleet is just like our other platforms and is well integrated into our maintenance program. The total cost per mile is comparable to CNG buses we have in service,” Skiver added.
As cities and new regulations push transit agencies to accelerate the transition of their fleets to zero-emission vehicles, FCEBs such as the ENC Axess – powered by Ballard’s FCveloCity®-HD module – offer an affordable one-to-one replacement for diesel and CNG buses in California, with no compromise in terms of service and no road-side infrastructure.