Transit Administration Awards $49 Million for Fuel Cell Buses

October 25, 2006

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced in mid-October its award of $49 million in grants to develop buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The FTA, a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is awarding the funds to three non-profit organizations: the Center for Transportation and the Environment in Atlanta, Georgia; the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium in Boston, Massachusetts; and WestStart-CALSTART of Pasadena, California. The funding will support 14 separate projects, including efforts to build a 35-foot plug-in hybrid fuel cell bus; to develop a lightweight fuel cell bus using ultracapacitors or lithium-ion batteries for energy storage; and to develop a 40-foot bus that couples a diesel engine with a fuel cell auxiliary power unit. The projects will employ fuel cells from Ballard Power Systems, Hydrogenics Corporation, Nuvera Fuel Cells, and UTC Power. Various fuel cell buses will be field tested in Alabama, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina. See the FTA press release and a related FTA Web page, which includes photos and the full list of projects.