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California Expanding its Use of Hybrid Electric Fuel Cell Buses



Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) of Oakland, Calif., has exercised options for four more PureMotion® Model 120 fuel cell systems for its next-generation hybrid-electric fuel cell buses.

Early in 2008, AC Transit placed the largest single fuel cell bus order in U.S. history, ordering eight Van Hool hybrid-electric buses with UTC Power fuel cell systems. The combined order of 12 new buses will be delivered by Van Hool from late 2009 through 2010.

AC Transit is currently operating three Van Hool hybrid-electric buses with UTC Power fuel cell systems. Since 2006, AC Transit has purchased fuel cell powerplants exclusively from UTC Power and is the company’s largest PureMotion customer. AC Transit’s first-generation fuel cell buses with UTC Power fuel cell systems have demonstrated on average 70 percent better fuel economy than a control fleet of diesel buses.

According to Rick Fernandez, AC Transit’s General Manager,

In addition to fuel efficiency, these UTC Power fuel cell systems produce no harmful tailpipe emissions and have an immediate, positive impact on street-level emissions. They also provide a smooth, quiet ride for our passengers. We’ve been quite pleased with the performance of our first-generation fleet, providing more than 145,000 miles of service for more than 350,000 passengers, and we look forward to expanding operations and testing with our next-generation fleet of 12 advanced technology buses.



Fuel cell buses

have a significant effect on reducing greenhouse gases, ranging from a 43 percent reduction over diesel buses if hydrogen is supplied from the reformation of natural gas, up to a 100 percent reduction when hydrogen is generated on-site from renewable sources like solar and wind power.

Ken Stewart, Vice President of Transportation for UTC Power commented;

UTC Power is very proud to be an exclusive part of a successful long-term collaboration with AC Transit.AC Transit has demonstrated visionary leadership in the transit industry with its continued, strong commitment to highly efficient, zero-emission hybrid-electric fuel cell buses.

AC Transit is one of the largest transit agencies in California, serving more than 67 million passengers a year throughout a 360-square-mile region. The Environmental and Energy Institute of Washington, D.C., named AC Transit a “National Clean Bus Leader” for its advanced environmental technology initiatives.

UTC Power, based in South Windsor, Conn., is a world leader in developing and producing fuel cells for on-site power at buildings and for transportation applications.

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