GE Research, Ballard, A123Systems in $13-Million Partnership to Develop a Battery-Dominant, Hybrid Fuel-Cell Bus
GE Global Research is in a $13-million research partnership with Ballard Power Systems, A123 Systems and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to develop a lightweight, battery-dominant zero-emissions hybrid fuel-cell bus. The FTA, through the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, is contributing almost $7 million toward the project. (Earlier post.)
The project will be led by GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna (NY), where researchers can leverage a history in hybrid vehicles and expertise in battery chemistry.
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. At Global Research, we will be leveraging nearly three decades of experience in hybrid systems and battery chemistry research to help pave the way to commercialization.—Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director of GE Global Research
The bus will use a 90kW version of Ballard’s heavy-duty fuel-cell module (HD6) combined with ultracapacitors or lithium-ion batteries as energy storage devices. The bus is to be emissions-free, have a range of 200 miles with accessories operating, and offer an improved fuel-cell life and cost. The research partnership will focus on reducing fuel-cell power requirements and improving energy storage technologies, which would help to increase the commercial viability of the technology.
Ballard is also supplying the fuel cells in another one of the FTA fuel-cell bus projects—180kW versions of the HD6 module in two 40-foot fuel cell hybrid buses that will operate in revenue service in the Washington DC area as part of the WMATA fleet.