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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Evaluations

Transit buses are one of the best early transportation applications for fuel cell technology. Buses operate in congested areas where pollution is already a problem. These buses are centrally located and fueled, highly visible, and subsidized by government. By evaluating the experiences of these early adopters, NREL can determine the status of bus fuel cell systems and establish lessons learned to aid other fleets in implementing the next generation of these systems.

Fuel Cell Bus Projects

Both DOE and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) fund NREL's hydrogen and fuel cell evaluations. A joint plan describes these evaluations, and the table below summarizes both current and planned projects. This table shows the estimated timing for all of NREL's zero emission bus evaluations, which include both fuel cell electric and battery electric buses. The schedule for planned evaluations is subject to change as each project progresses.

Text version of table of NREL zero emission bus evaluations by demonstration name and location; bus technology, length, and number of buses; and project period. ZEBA Demonstration: 13 fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot buses at AC Transit in Oakland, California; project period is first quarter 2016 through first quarter 2017. American Fuel Cell Bus (AFCB) demonstration: one fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot bus at SunLine, Thousand Palms, California, project period first quarter 2016 through fourth quarter 2017; two fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot buses at SARTA/GCRTA/OSU in Canton, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio, project period second quarter 2016 through fourth quarter 2018; one fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot bus at UCI in Irvine, California, project period first quarter 2016 through third quarter 2017. AFCB TIGGER demonstration: three fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot buses at SunLine in Thousand Palms, California, project period first quarter 2016 through fourth quarter 2018. Massachusetts AFCB demonstration: one fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot bus at MBTA in Boston, Massachusetts, project period second quarter 2016 through third quarter 2018. Battery Dominant AFCB demonstration: one battery dominant fuel cell electric 40-foot bus demonstrated at SunLine in Thousand Palms, California, project period first quarter 2017 through fourth quarter 2018. AFCB (LoNo) demonstration: five fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot buses at SunLine in Thousand Palms, California, project period first quarter 2017 through fourth quarter 2018; five fuel cell dominant electric 40-foot buses at SARTA in Canton, Ohio, project period first quarter 2017 through fourth quarter 2018. Advanced Generation FCEB demonstration: one fuel cell dominant electric 60-foot bus at AC Transit in Oakland, California, project period second quarter 2017 through fourth quarter 2018. On-Route Charge BEB (TIGGER) demonstration: 12 fast-charge battery electric 35-foot buses at Foothill Transit in West Covina, California, project period first quarter 2016 through first quarter 2017. On-Route Charge BEB (TIGGER) demonstration: three fast-charge battery electric 40-foot buses at King County Metro in Seattle, Washington, project period first quarter 2016 through second quarter 2017. Plug-In Charge BEB (TIGGER) demonstration: 10 plug-in battery electric 40-foot buses at Long Beach Transit in Long Beach, California, project period third quarter 2016 through third quarter 2017.

The U.S. Fuel Cell Bus Projects Excel spreadsheet summarizes current and planned projects in the United States.

Composite Data Products

View NREL's fuel cell electric bus project publications to see evaluation results.

Presentations and Publications by Year

The following publications are also available in a list by demonstration site.

2016

2014

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

This page provides presentations and publications describing hydrogen fuel cell bus evaluations performed at various demonstration sites. These publications are also available in a list by year.

AC Transit

CTTRANSIT

Foothill Transit

SunLine Transit Agency

General Publications

More Information

Learn about NREL's other technology validation efforts. Subscribe to the biannual Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Validation newsletter, which highlights recent technology validation activities at NREL.

Contacts

If you are interested in working with NREL's National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center, please contact NREL's Technology Validation Team at techval@nrel.gov.

For more information about NREL's fuel cell bus evaluations, contact Leslie Eudy.