Ballard Power Systems, a clean energy solution provider, will send five of its heavy duty fuel cell systems to California under a new deal with SunLine Transit Agency.

The Canadian company’s FCveloCity® fuel cell engines will be sent to Palm Desert for use in SunLine’s zero-emission buses.

The 150 kilowatt engines are expected to be shipped later this year.

This deployment will double SunLine’s current fleet of fuel cell buses and allow it to offer expanded transit service in the Coachella Valley area of southern California.

Rob Campbell, Chief Commercial Officer of Ballard, highlighted, “We are very pleased with the continued progress of zero-emission mass transit alternatives in the US market. [This development] puts Ballard at the forefront of North American fuel cell bus deployments and further adds momentum to the growing global trend toward clean energy buses and other heavy duty transit solutions.”

In the agreement, Ballard is partnering with ElDorado National, a key North American bus original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and BAE Systems, a system integrator and major supplier of electric drive systems, to deliver the environmentally friendly vehicles.

The buses will use the previously deployed American Fuel Cell Bus (AFCB) configuration. First introduced with SunLine in 2011, it utilises Ballard’s heavy duty fuel cell engine to provide primary power in combination with BAE Systems’ electric propulsion and power management systems. 

There are currently 13 AFCBs deployed with various transit agencies across North America and a further 10 on order.