The University of Alabama is launching a fuel cell bus demonstration program. The 30-ft long hydrogen PEM fuel cell bus is also a hybrid vehicle as well using nickel metal hydride batteries for storage.
The fuel cell bus will be operated in metropolitan Birmingham beginning next year. Two Hydrogenics PEM fuel cells will power the bus and the hydrogen storage tanks will be created by Fab Industries.
Initial controlled performance testing will take place at Auburn University on a 1.7 mile oval track. Researchers at the University of Alabama hope to demonstration a bus that is safer than the traditional diesel vehicle, on that doesn’t depend on fossil fuels and one that has less of a carbon footprint.
In other related news, a company called Proterra has developed a 35-ft hydrogen fuel cell hybrid bus, which is demonstrated two weeks ago at the APTA Expo in San Diego, California.
Once again Hydrogenics supplied two PEM fuel cells for the hydrogen bus prototype. This fuel cell bus, however is expected to go into service during the first quarter of next year in Columbia, South Carolina.
For those who say that the South is going to rise again, it very well may with the help of hydrogen and some leading edge technology.