The Department of Transportation has announced $13.6 million in grants to advance the commercialization of American-made fuel cell buses for the transit industry. Eight projects were selected to receive a share of the funds through the Federal Transit Administration’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program.
The program has provided nearly $90 million since 2006 to speed up the development of fuel cell technology in the US.
The eight projects receiving funding include:
- $4.2 million has been awarded to Sunline Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, Calif. and its industry partners ElDorado National in Riverside, Calif. and BAE Systems in Endicott, NY to develop and demonstrate a battery-dominant fuel cell bus based on a commercial hybrid platform, and smaller, less expensive fuel cells.
- $3.1 million has been given to Tompkins Consolidated Transit Authority in Ithaca, NY, and to BAE, ElDorado and Ballard Power Systems in Lowell, Mass. to build and operate a next-generation American Fuel Cell Bus in a cold, northeast climate.
- $2.7 million will be disbursed to Cleveland’s transit authority in Ohio and technology partners BAE , ElDorado and Ballard. This will help build a next-generation fuel cell bus and demonstrate it in transit service in the greater Cleveland area for two years. It will be benchmarked with the other transit demo projects that have also received grants.
- $1.8 million for AC Transit in Oakland, Calif. for extended fleet operation and support. This will help continue operation of existing fuel cell buses at AC Transit in revenue service, considered the largest and most successful fuel cell bus fleet in the US. This project will provide information on long-term operation, performance and maintenance of fuel cell buses against technical targets. Funding will be administered by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE).
- The remainder will be divided in smaller grants varying from $189,000 to $691,000 among four transit projects in Birmingham, Ala; Pasadena, Calif; Altoona, Penn; and Atlanta, Ga.
Last week the Department of Energy announced it has awarded more than $45 million in funding for projects that accelerate the research and development of vehicle technologies to improve fuel efficiency, lower transportation costs and protect the environment. Recipients include 38 companies, universities and national labs such as Ford, General Motors, General Electric and the Ohio State University.
Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the DOE and the US Army, the Army contributed an additional $3 million to support projects focused on lightweighting and propulsion materials, batteries, fuels and lubricants.