THOUSAND PALMS, California -- BAE Systems plans to develop a zero-emissions bus for a Southern California regional transit agency under a project to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of fuel cell technology.
Under a planned work effort, the company will serve as systems integrator to deliver the vehicle to SunLine Transit in an effort funded by the Federal Transit Administration, CALSTART, California Air Resource Board, and California South Coast Air Quality Management District.
The fuel cell bus, which will use no fossil fuel, will demonstrate technology that can reduce dependence on diesel fuel and compressed natural gas. It is scheduled for delivery in December 2011.
"This new-generation fuel cell bus is the result of a true partnership with SunLine Transit Agency, CALSTART, bus manufacturer ElDorado National (California) Inc., Ballard Power Systems, and the Federal Transit Administration, and continues BAE Systems' ongoing development of environmentally friendly, heavy-duty vehicles," said Rich Hopf, general manager of vehicle systems for BAE Systems. "We look forward to furthering our work as a systems integrator and showcasing the evolution in technology from partial to zero emissions."
C. Mikel Oglesby, General Manager, SunLine Transit Agency said, "SunLine is extremely pleased to join in the partnership for the demonstration of the new-generation fuel cell bus that will help to advance the commercialization of this technology in transit operations."
The bus developed under the program will use a fuel cell module supplied by Ballard Power Systems as the main power plant, combined with BAE Systems propulsion and power management systems to propel a 40-foot transit bus. It will help form the basis for a clean, commercially viable hydrogen-powered transit bus that eliminates fossil fuel-consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
The new vehicle is based on BAE Systems' HybriDrive propulsion system, used by transit agencies across the U.S., Canada and in the UK. The demonstration vehicle will use an advanced lithium-ion-based energy storage system that increases battery life and substantially reduces vehicle weight. The battery system, which will augment the fuel cell, is self-monitoring for easy service and reduced maintenance costs.
BAE Systems is a leading producer of efficient, low-emission hybrid electric propulsion systems for transit buses. HybriDrive propulsion technology has been in daily revenue service on buses in New York and other cities since 1998. More than 2,500 buses use HybriDrive technology to carry more than a million passengers daily.
To date, these buses have traveled more than 150 million miles, saved 10 million gallons of diesel fuel, and prevented more than 100,000 tons of carbon emissions.