GE today announced a $13m research partnership with the US Federal Transit Administration, Ballard Power Systems and A123 Systems to develop a lightweight, battery dominant zero emissions hybrid fuel cell bus. The research will be led by GE’s
‘Advancements in hybrid propulsion systems and battery chemistry offer tremendous promise for enabling cleaner, more affordable transportation alternatives that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote a cleaner, healthier environment,’ said Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director of GE Global Research.
It is expected that the hybrid fuel cell bus being designed and built will be completely emissions free, have a range of 200 miles with accessories operating, and an improved fuel cell life and cost. The focus of the research partnership will be to reduce fuel cell power requirements and improve energy storage technologies, which would help to increase the commercial viability of the technology.
Hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles offer a viable solution for zero-emission transit bus operation. Both are in use today, but come with high expense, complex infrastructures, and range limitations. GE’s research effort will be aimed at reducing these costs to affordable levels.
The research partnership is part of $49m in funding announced last week by US Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson under its hydrogen fuel cell bus research and development program.
GE Global Research, and its industrial partners, will contribute approximately half of the $13m in funding for the project. The Federal Transit Administration, through the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, will fund the other half.