Nearly 60 percent of all 40-foot transit buses purchased in the United States rely on funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). To qualify for this funding, buses must meet the agency’s “Buy America” requirements, which require 60 percent American-made components. Now, the Sunline Transit Agency, a bus system serving the Coachella Valley/Palm Springs area, has unveiled a production fuel cell bus that meets – and exceeds – the federal government’s strict rules for U.S. content.
SunLine Transit Agency, in cooperation with clean transportation technology consortium Calstart and bus manufacturer El Dorado National Bus, recently unveiled what it is calling the “American Fuel Cell Bus.” The bus is the seventh-generation hydrogen-fueled bus to be demonstrated and tested by SunLine and comprises 90 percent American made components.
The bus’s power comes primarily from a fuel cell in combination with BAE Systems HybriDrive propulsion and power management system. Power is also stored in lithium ion batteries. This bus was developed under the FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which promotes the development of commercially viable fuel cell bus technologies and related infrastructure for deployment in revenue service.
“The team assembled to develop and deploy this bus really epitomizes the best and brightest in clean vehicle technology,” said John Boesel, Calstart president and CEO. “From one of the world’s most innovative fleets at SunLine, to state-of-the-art work by bus builder, ElDorado National, and the fuel cell maker, Ballard Power Systems, to the integrator and hybrid-electric drive manufacturer, BAE Systems, this bus promises to help revolutionize the American market for zero emissions technologies.