Transportation & Fuel Source Technology
New England's First Fuel Cell-powered Hybrid Bus Begins Service In Hartford
New England's first zero-emission fuel cell-powered hybrid bus made its debut today in ceremonies at the Connecticut Convention Center.
U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., and officials from the Federal Transit
Administration, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Greater Hartford
Transit District, CTTRANSIT, Capitol Region Council of Governments and UTC
Power were on hand as the 40-foot hybrid electric fuel cell transit bus
quietly rolled out onto the streets of Hartford.
The bus will immediately enter CTTRANSIT service and operate first on
the free downtown Hartford Star Shuttle route, and then in a few months on
other routes that serve the capital city and surrounding towns. This will
be done to meet the project goal of testing the bus in all types of typical
transit service, including low and high speeds, and routes with steep
CTTRANSIT and project partners will gather and analyze data on fuel
economy, maintenance costs and reliability.
The many benefits of this fuel cell-powered hybrid bus include zero
harmful tailpipe emissions, smooth and quiet operation and fuel efficiency
that is expected to be two times better than a standard diesel-powered bus.
The clean operation means it will have an immediate positive impact on
street- level emissions. These benefits are reflected in the distinctive
green, leafy graphics on the sides of the bus.
"The people who live and work in Hartford and the people who visit the
city are not only going to enjoy riding this quiet bus, but also will like
the fact it emits nothing but water vapor, making for cleaner air for all
of us to breathe," said Jan van Dokkum, UTC Power president.
The Greater Hartford Transit District contracted last year with UTC
Power for the fuel cell-powered bus and two years of program support,
including the use of a hydrogen refueling station located at UTC Power's
headquarters in South Windsor, Connecticut. The bus was transferred to
CTTRANSIT, Connecticut's state-owned bus system. Operation of the bus will
be funded by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
In addition to UTC Power and CTTRANSIT, the special project partnership
includes AC Transit of Oakland, California, which now has three UTC Power
fuel cell-powered buses in operation; Van Hool of Belgium, one of the
world's largest bus and coach manufacturers; and ISE Corporation of Poway,
California, a leading integrator of hybrid-electric and integrated fuel
cell drive systems for buses. A $2.9 million grant from the Federal Transit
Administration (FTA) to the Greater Hartford Transit District has funded
the bus and infrastructure to support this and future fuel cell
transportation projects in Greater Hartford.
has provided fuel cell power plants for fleet transportation
since 1998 and its fuel cells have powered buses in the United States,
Spain and Italy; another new bus will soon debut in Belgium. UTC Power is a
United Technologies company.
Additionally, UTC Power and its partners are participating in three
multimillion-dollar zero-emission transit bus projects in California and
Washington, D.C., as part of an FTA $49 million cost-shared program.
Congress established the National Fuel Cell Bus Technology Development
Program in 2005 to facilitate development of commercially viable fuel cell
bus technology. The FTA goal is to have fuel cell buses represent 10
percent of new U.S. transit bus purchases starting in the year 2015.
UTC Power's PureMotion fuel cell system for transit buses
represents more than six years of research and development in partnership
with the U.S. Department of Defense through the U.S. Army Tank-automotive
and Armaments Command and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the
Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium.
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