Gas bus hits streets

A bus powered by a combination of batteries and a 20 kW hydrogen fuel cell has hit the streets of Austin, Texas.

A bus powered by a combination of batteries and a 20 kW hydrogen fuel cell has hit the streets of Austin, Texas as a result of a joint venture between The University of Texas at Austin and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI).

The fuel cell hybrid bus, designed and built for the university by Ebus, has a range of up to to 200 miles, three to four times greater than an equivalent bus simply powered by batteries.

A permanent hydrogen fuelling station to power the beast is currently being installed at the J.J. Pickle Research Center in Austin. The hydrogen fuelling station allows for the generation, compression, storage and dispensing of hydrogen on-site. GreenField Compression, the Texas-based, North American Division of Atlas-Copco, is presently commercialising the fuelling technology.

Over time, the university and GTI expect to introduce and evaluate additional vehicle and fuelling technologies that will be demonstrated in Austin and surrounding areas.

‘The lack of a hydrogen infrastructure has been identified as the single largest impediment to the commercial roll-out of hydrogen vehicles,’ said Tony Lindsay, manager of GTI’s Advanced Energy Systems Group. ‘This advanced vehicle and fuelling technology demonstrates that hydrogen fuelling systems can be reliable and are commercially ready.’