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UQM 150 kW Propulsion System to Power Plug-in Fuel-Cell Series Hybrid Electric Bus

The plug-in fuel-cell series hybrid bus. Click to enlarge.

UQM Technology’s newly introduced 150 kW permanent magnet propulsion motor (earlier post) will power a plug-in fuel-cell series hybrid electric bus being developed by Mobile Energy Solutions, LLC, (MES) with funding under the Federal Transit Administration’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program.

The Mobile Energy Solutions team created and manufactured the Denver 16th St Mall CNG-fueled hybrid-electric shuttle buses.

The 35-foot long bus features a proprietary all-composite body manufactured by Martin Marietta Composites and two 16 kW automotive fuel cell stacks from Hydrogenics, Inc. The two stacks can either operate in parallel when needed or alternately as single units when maximum load is not required.

The battery pack, which is still in development, will deliver 90 kWh to support a range of 300 miles per hydrogen fueling. The batteries are incorporated in the floor enabling a low-floor design, which in combination with the absence of an engine compartment, allows passenger seating for 37 people, equal to that of a conventional 40 foot bus.

The battery pack is grid-charged at night. Additional energy is provided to the batteries during operation from the onboard fuel cell auxiliary power system, which generates supplemental power to extend the range of the vehicle. The bus has been designed to accept auxiliary power units other than fuel cells such as an internal combustion engine generator fueled by hydrogen, propane, compressed natural gas or bio-diesel.

Unlike other fuel cell bus programs that are placing large fuel cells in conventional transit buses, we are developing a composite body bus that has been specifically designed for these advanced technologies. By doing so, we have been able to reduce the weight of the vehicle, dramatically improving passenger carrying capability and roughly tripling the fuel mileage compared to conventional buses of similar size.

UQM’s 150 kW propulsion system, with its exceptional torque and light weight, will allow our bus to have superb acceleration while maximizing the range between recharges, due to the propulsion system’s highly energy efficient operation.

—Dale Hill, CEO of Mobile Energy Solutions, LLC

MES is currently at work on three other fuel-cell bus projects:

  • FTA National Fuel Cell Bus Program - Project 2. MES is working in conjunction with General Electric on the development of a new hybrid electric drive train for incorporation into a light weight, Mobile Energy Solutions composite body. The drive train will consist of a newly developed motor and controller, a Ballard 60 kW fuel cell, A123Systems Li-ion batteries and Maxwell ultracaps.

  • City of Burbank. On May 24, 2007 the California Air Resources Board awarded the City of Burbank funds for the purchase and testing of a 35' Mobile Energy Solutions composite body, plug-in, battery dominant fuel-cell bus employing Altairnano Lithium Titanate batteries to operate in the Media District of Burbank.

  • Norfolk Defense Distribution Center. On April 28, 2007 MES, as a Hyster Company / Hydrogenics Corporation team member, was awarded a contract to supply a fuel cell bus to the Department of Defense Distribution Center in Norfolk, VA.




I wonder if it is going to be lower profile than a traditional bus. 150Kw and high torque might do ok for city streets, but will it even be able to hit 65 mph?

Triple the mileage...what does that translate to for a 35-foot bus? Regenerative breaking alone ought to help a bunch.


if you plug all of the normal bus numbers into uve's ev calculator:
8 ft wide
9 ft tall
.45 drag coefficient
30,000 pound vehicle
you get a top speed of 70 MPH
seems about right.

Al Fin

It does seem a little underpowered for a bus. But add regenerative braking, as HealthyBreeze mentioned, and it might work for stop and go slow speed city traffic.

The combination of pluggability (w/batteries) plus fuelcells plus regenerative braking might work for urban school bus routes and small city transit systems.

tom deplume

Back in my bus driving days mileage was around 6 mpg. About 1/4 of the time on route was spent idling at traffic lights and lay over points. Hybridisation could easily triple mileage.

Valdir Barbaresco Filho

I wd like to see a very small car using a MAPV engine. This tecnology was invented by 4 doctors of UNIVERSIDADE DE SÃO PAULO. You can believe this is the most green engine that I have seen. It uses ethanol but the fuel is vaporized and mixed with the air molecule to molecule. In the tests they used a very big and old CHEVROLET(GM) car but even so it runned more than 10 miles with just one liter of ethanol and the power was measured up 170 hp on a old engine with more than 40 thousands of miles. Imagine wat can be done if we used cars like the smart for two but using this tecnology.

making your own beer

I haven't been up to anything. My mind is like an empty room, but such is life. Maybe tomorrow. Today was a loss, but eh.

contractor mechanical tyler

The government should be persuaded to pay for all healthcare

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