On April 18th representatives from Ballard, including President/CEO Randy MacEwen, attended the unveiling of the first zero-emission fuel cell bus to provide service in the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) transit system, called the Anteater Express. The UC Irvine bus is the 5th American Fuel Cell Bus (AFCB) configuration delivered in California.
The AFCB configuration utilizes Ballard’s FCvelocity®-HD6 fuel cell module to provide primary power, in combination with BAE Systems’ HybriDrive® propulsion and power management systems deployed in an ElDorado National 40-foot (12-meter) Axes model, heavy-duty transit bus. The UC Irvine bus was manufactured only a short distance away at ElDorado National’s facilities in California, 35 miles north of Irvine.
Funding for the project was provided by the California Energy Commission, a proponent of zero-emission transportation in the State of California, and administered through CALSTART, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit consortiums of clean transportation technology companies.
The Anteater Express has provided safe and reliable transportation service to the UC Irvine community for over 25 years, and is committed to meeting the University’s transportation demands of the future, according to university officials.
UC Irvine is home to the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) who’s focus is to facilitate, demonstrate and accelerate the development and deployment of fuel cell technology and fuel cell systems; to promote strategic alliances to address the market challenges associated with the installation and integration of fuel cell systems; and to educate and develop resources for the various stakeholders in the fuel cell community.
This zero-emission bus program builds on UC Irvine’s expertise with hydrogen technologies, complements existing research conducted on campus, and utilizes the campus’ hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The Anteater Express/NFCRC collaborative allows hands-on research and education in groundbreaking hydrogen powered vehicle technologies for the UC Irvine community. UC Irvine students will drive, ride and participate in research on the fuel cell bus and data gathered from this project will contribute to next generation fuel cell technology.