GE (NYSE: GE) has announced a $13 million research partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, Ballard Power Systems and A123 Systems to develop a lightweight, battery dominant zero emissions hybrid fuel cell bus. The research will be led by GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, NY.
"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," said Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director of GE Global Research. "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."
It is expected that the hybrid fuel cell bus being designed and built will be completely emissions free, have a range of 200 miles with accessories operating, and an improved fuel cell life and cost. The focus of the research partnership will be to reduce fuel cell power requirements and improve energy storage technologies, which would help to increase the commercial viability of the technology.
Hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles offer a viable solution for zero-emission transit bus operation. Both are in use today, but come with high expense, complex infrastructures, and range limitations. GE’s research effort will be aimed at reducing these costs to affordable levels.