The University of South Carolina Hydrogen Hybrid Bus is leaving the moderate temperature of the South and heading towards the much less forgiving temperatures of Vancouver, Canada in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Back in November 2009, I had talked about how hydrogen buses commissioned in Canada were starting to arrive for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The buses will be traveling upon the British Columbia Hydrogen Highway that includes Whistler, Victoria, Vancouver and 4 other cities.
The University of South Carolina 38-foot, 37 passenger bus is on loan to the Canadian government for transportation of passengers and athletes. The hydrogen fuel cell hybrid bus needs some slight modifications before hitting the colder Canadian climates, however.
Both fuel cells and passengers will need supplemental heat in the bus so the vehicle must be retrofitted to achieve this. The hybrid bus is also fitted with a bank of fast-charge, lithium titnate batteries to provide more power when needed.
The Hydrogen Hybrid Bus uses a carbon fiber/fiberglass composite body in order to reduce weight. The one downside of this road trip is that because there are few hydrogen fueling stations between Columbia, South Carolina and British Columbia the bus will have to be hauled by trailer to and from this event.
This is yet another call for more hydrogen fueling stations to be built in the U. S. as a simple bus trip becomes a major undertaking without adequate fueling infrastructure to support long distance travel.