Highway bill funds hydrogen bus research

The massive $286.4-billion highway bill that just became law is going to provide $9 million in funding for a new four-year hydrogen and fuel cell bus research and development program

The massive $286.4-billion highway bill that just became law is going to provide $9 million in funding for a new four-year hydrogen and fuel cell bus research and development program supported by California clean air consortium WestStart-CALSTART.

The National Fuel Cell Bus Technology Development Program, will seek to speed up making hydrogen and fuel cell buses commercially viable by creating a national team of more than 30 leading bus makers, operators and technology developers, said WestStart-CALSTART’s president and CEO John Boesel.

The National Fuel Cell Bus Technology Initiative (NFCBTI), said Boesel, believes that the transit bus market is the best early market for the development and introduction of vehicular fuel cell technology. Centralized refueling stations and the ability to place hydrogen cylinders on the roof of a bus eliminate two major challenges to the introduction of fuel cells in passenger cars -- the lack of refueling infrastructure and the space requirements for hydrogen storage, he noted.

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