Symbio FCell project with 50 fuel cell utility vehicles, two stations

Symbio FCell project with 50 fuel cell utility vehicles, two stations

NEWS New Flyer Industries: Calstart preparing first articulated battery/fuel cell bus for US demo Ballard Power Systems: www.ballar...

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NEWS New Flyer Industries:

Calstart preparing first articulated battery/fuel cell bus for US demo

Ballard Power Systems: FTA, National Fuel Cell Bus Program:



he clean transportation consortium Calstart has received approval from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to develop North America’s first 60 foot (18 m) hybrid fuel cell/ battery electric zero-emissions bus. Canadian-based New Flyer Industries will build the bus, which will operate in daily urban service using a unique combination of a fuel cell and battery power for an articulated bus. ‘This is a major milestone in the zero-emission bus sector. Sixty-foot buses serve the most densely populated corridors, where air quality is very important,’ says John Boesel, president and CEO at Calstart. ‘It is only through technology advancement that we are now able to envision buses of this size operating without emissions.’ Calstart is managing the project for the FTA. New Flyer is teaming with fuel cell supplier Ballard Power Systems and electric powertrain manufacturer Siemens to build, test, and deliver the bus, which New Flyer plans to put into commercial production. Funding comes in part from FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program. This propulsion system is being integrated into New Flyer’s proven Xcelsior® X60 heavy-duty transit bus platform. The electric drivetrain will utilise the PEM fuel cell in relatively steady-state operation, while the batteries will be able both to capture braking energy and provide power for acceleration. Ballard will supply a next-generation fuel cell power plant that is lower in cost, smaller, and lighter than existing models [FCB, August 2014, p2, and see page 2 in this issue]. The project aims to improve durability and lower costs, getting closer to pollution-free mass transit. The bus, which is expected to be completed in mid-2015, will meet the FTA’s Buy-America requirements. A key step in the commercialisation of the bus will be to complete a full Altoona Durability and Performance test, part of the FTA’s Bus Testing Program [FCB, September 2013, p2]. Then the bus will be deployed to Connecticut Transit (CTTransit) for a planned 22 months of operation in revenue service. On successful conclusion of this programme, New Flyer will offer this vehicle to customers throughout the US and Canada. Calstart: Calstart, National Fuel Cell Bus Program:


Fuel Cells Bulletin

Symbio FCell – which recently partnered with the Michelin Group [FCB, June 2014, p9] – designs and produces PEM fuel cell rangeextenders (5–20 kW) and full power systems (80–300 kW) for automotive applications. Symbio FCell, Grenoble, France. Tel: +33 1 5679 1506, HyWay project: Symbio FCell project with 50 fuel cell utility vehicles, two stations PowerCell wins grants to develop EV rangehe HyWay project in France will roll Tout a fleet of 50 hybrid electric/ extender, next-gen unit

hydrogen-powered utility vehicles, and construct two hydrogen fueling stations in Lyon and Grenoble. The Kangoo ZE-H2 vehicles – powered by fuel cells supplied by Symbio FCell – will showcase the performance and reliability of hydrogen in a unique and innovative captive fleet implementation model at commercial scale. Symbio FCell has involved its customers in the search for productivity and conformity of their vehicle fleets as gas emission regulations evolve. The company has conducted commercial efforts to demonstrate the reliability of its hydrogen PEM fuel cell range-extender, applied to battery electric vehicles like the popular Renault Kangoo ZE small delivery van. The new fleet of 50 hybrid electric/hydrogenpowered Kangoo ZE-H2 utility vehicles deployed in the HyWay programme has been equipped with Symbio FCell’s range-extender, which features the company’s 5 kW fuel cell stack. The rollout will take place in the RhôneAlpes region, where two hydrogen stations will be built in Grenoble and Lyon by early 2015. The HyWay project is financially backed by the Rhône-Alpes regional government and the French agency for environment and energy management (ADEME), as well as the regional directorate for environment, development and housing (DREAL). The project, which is coordinated by the Tenerrdis energy cluster, is also aligned with the objectives of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Previous experiments with such hybrid electric/hydrogen-powered vehicles, notably with the French mail service La Poste [FCB, December 2013, p1], have demonstrated impressive productivity increases, alongside other benefits like dramatically improved workforce satisfaction, due to driving comfort and vehicle affinity from drivers. For the end-user enterprise the main benefits include improved resource planning, brand responsibility, and financial gains.


he Swedish Energy Agency has granted PowerCell SEK7 million (US$945 000) for the MoRE Zero project, to develop a PEM fuel cell system for a range-extender for electric vehicles. The agency has also granted PowerCell a SEK10 million ($1.35 million) loan to develop its next-generation PowerPac fuel cell auxiliary power unit (APU), which converts road-standard diesel into electricity in a cost-competitive, environmentally friendly way. The MoRE Zero project aims to increase consumer awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles, by using a fuel cell range-extender to increase their range. PowerCell – a spinout from Volvo – will develop a modular, scalable 20–25 kW fuel cell system, which will be integrated and demonstrated in three different EV types by the other project partners. These are Spanish automotive services company Applus+ IDIADA, power electronics specialist Triphase in Belgium, design and engineering services company Hexagon Studio in Turkey, and electric truck convertor E-Trucks Europe in Belgium. PowerCell’s next-generation S2 fuel cell platform is now in the final stages of development [FCB, March 2014, p10], and will be launched as a commercial product by the end of 2014. This will serve the 5–25 kW power range, which seems to be a gap in the market – stacks up to 20 kW are generally available, but the 10–30 kW range is not well served. ‘The fuel cell stacks that are made for these small power classes (<30 kW) are typically designed for stationary applications, where packing volume and cost targets are not nearly as stringent as in the automotive industry,’ says CEO Magnus Henell. ‘These designs require a smaller initial investment cost than automotive fuel cell stacks, but will never be anywhere near as cost-effective [at] high volume. The PowerCell fuel cell stack is developed according to the standard for vehicles, and for use in [the]

November 2014