Ballard Power Systems has announced its involvement in the ‘Fuel Cell Electric Commercialisation Consortium’ (FCEBCC), a large-scale project for which funding has now been committed to support deployment of 20 zero-emission hydrogen (H2) fuel cell electric buses at two California transit agencies.

10 buses are to be deployed with Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit) and 10 buses are to be deployed with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

Ballard will be providing 20 of its FCveloCity ®-HD 85-kilowatt fuel cell engines to New Flyer of America Inc., a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America.

Ballard’s engines will power New Flyer 40-foot Xcelsior XHE40 fuel cell buses, which are planned to be delivered and in-service with AC Transit and OCTA by the end of 2018. The buses are to be supported by advanced H2 fueling Infrastructure provided by The Linde Group.

Ballard’s Vice-President – commercial, Karim Kassam, said, “This program represents an important next step in the broader adoption of fuel cell buses in the US market. The consortium’s work will result in the largest deployment of fuel cell buses to this point in the US. Ballard looks forward to supporting AC Transit and OCTA in their use of clean energy fuel cell buses to help reduce dependence on petroleum and to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in California.”

The new Flyer Xcelsior buses, powered by Ballard engines, have a range of approximately 500 kilometers (over 300 miles), can be refueled in less than 10 minutes without the need for overnight plug-in battery recharging, can replace conventional buses without compromising operational performance, and generate zero tailpipe emissions.

Fuel cell bus

The FCEBCC project is funded and sponsored by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) through the California Climate Investments program; the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD); and the south Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The Centre for Transportation and Environment (CTE), a non-profit member-based organisation, is providing project management and oversight.