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Ballard fuel cells to power new SunLine buses in California

Canadian-based Ballard Power Systems has entered into contracts for the supply of fuel cell power modules to power two different transit bus configurations at SunLine Transit in Thousand Oaks, California. One fuel cell bus will enter operation in Palm Springs later this year, and the other in 2011.

Under their Advanced Technology (AT) program, Ballard, ISE Corporation and New Flyer Industries have struck a deal that will provide SunLine Transit with a 40 foot (12 m) fuel cell hybrid bus powered by Ballard’s FCvelocity™-HD6 fuel cell power module. This bus will be similar to the 20 fuel cell buses currently being operated in Whistler, British Columbia. This bus has already been delivered to SunLine, and will enter regular transit service later this year.

Under the US National Fuel Cell Bus Program, Ballard will also supply an FCvelocity-HD6 fuel cell power module for an El Dorado fuel cell hybrid bus featuring a series hybrid electric drive from BAE Systems, lead integrator for the bus. The polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell power module will be delivered in the first quarter of 2010, and the bus will be delivered and operational in 2011.

‘These buses are further evidence of the commercial demand we’re seeing for Ballard fuel cell products,' says John Sheridan, President and CEO of Ballard. 'The buses for SunLine are above and beyond the 20 buses currently deployed in Whistler, and others slated for delivery later this year in London, Cologne, and Amsterdam.’

Ballard has a long history of working with SunLine Transit, having powered a prototype New Flyer Industries fuel cell bus in the Palm Springs region between 1999 and 2002.

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