Ballard Power Systems has received a purchase order from New Flyer Industries for the delivery of Ballard’s first next-generation FCvelocity-HD7 fuel cell power module to a North American bus manufacturer. (Earlier post.) Delivery of the power module to New Flyer Industries is planned for later this year.
Ballard’s FCvelocity-HD7 features reduced parts count as well as fewer moving parts, integrated air compressor and coolant pump along with lower parasitic load. The FCvelocity-HD7 also features fuel cell stacks manufactured using Ballard’s high-volume manufacturing processes.
The module will be utilized in a next-generation New Flyer Industries fuel cell bus that will be sent to Altoona, Pennsylvania for testing and qualification prior to being deployed into revenue service under the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) National Fuel Cell Bus Program. The project will be administered by CALSTART, a member-supported organization dedicated to clean transportation alternatives.
New Flyer Industries is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in North America and the industry technology leader offering the broadest product line, including drive systems powered by fuel cells, clean diesel, natural gas and electric trolley as well as diesel-electric hybrid vehicles.
Ballard has a long history of working with New Flyer Industries, having powered fuel cell buses in Vancouver, Chicago and the Palm Springs region dating back to the first ever prototype fuel cell bus in 1991. More recently, Ballard and New Flyer Industries partnered on the successful operation of BC Transit’s fuel cell demonstration fleet of 20 buses, which ran from 2009 to 2014 in Whistler, British Columbia, accumulating nearly 4 million kilometers (2.5 million miles) in revenue service.
Ballard continues to work with US industry and clean transportation advocates to stimulate the use of fuel cell technology in transit buses. Increased volumes of fuel cell-powered buses are expected to support cost and price reductions through scale economies, enabling fuel cell solutions to compete more effectively with incumbent transit technologies. The FTA is playing a key role in accelerating fuel cell bus deployments and providing greater public exposure to the safe operation of zero-emission vehicles, which is leading to broader acceptance of the technology.