Chevron Fuels AC Transit’s HyRoad Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstration Program
OAKLAND, Calif., March 13, 2006 -- Bay Area residents can breathe easier thanks to a fleet of zero-emission fuel cell buses and cars operated by the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit), and powered by Chevron Hydrogen, as part of AC Transit’s groundbreaking HyRoad hydrogen fuel cell demonstration program.
This morning, federal, state and local representatives formally dedicated the HyRoad demonstration program during a ceremony at AC Transit’s Oakland operating division.
The HyRoad program is considered the most comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell demonstration in North America because it includes:
1. Three very quiet, zero-emission fuel cell hybrid electric buses, powered by UTC Power PureMotion™ 120 fuel cell systems and ISE hybrid-electric drive systems.
2. A fleet of up to ten zero-emission Hyundai and Kia fuel cell cars, also powered by UTC Power fuel cells.
3. An on-site Chevron Hydrogen energy station that integrates state-of-the art technologies to reform natural gas into hydrogen.
4. The use of hydrogen fuel cell hand tools by AC Transit mechanics.
The HyRoad demonstration project will provide participants with a better understanding of hydrogen’s commercial potential because it applies alternative energy technology to a practical, everyday situation.
Widespread commercialization of this technology may still be many years away. But, says AC Transit’s General Manager Rick Fernandez, “The place to begin demonstrating any advanced transportation system is with fleet application, which offers the convenience of centralized fueling and maintenance. We also believe that our program, and the pathway we are following, holds the most promise toward achieving the long-term goal of using hydrogen fuel cell technology in the transportation sector.”
More than 28 businesses and government agencies developed one fully integrated solution that gives the public an opportunity to experience hydrogen on a day-to-day basis.
“Public and private participants worked together to address the community’s need for cleaner, more fuel-efficient transportation while acknowledging the business realities involved,” says Don Paul Chevron Corporation’s vice president and chief technology officer.
Fernandez says, “We believe better, stronger ideas come from close collaboration.”
Technology achievements also are incorporated throughout the program.
The Chevron Hydrogen energy station features an integrated, on-site system for producing hydrogen from natural gas, then purifying, compressing, and storing it for use as a vehicle fuel.
“By producing hydrogen at the site where it is consumed, Chevron is demonstrating a practical approach to hydrogen development,” Paul says.
The station will dispense up to 150 kg of hydrogen daily – enough to fuel three 40-foot fuel cell buses and 10 fuel cell vehicles.
The three fuel cell buses are equipped with the most advanced technology available. Each includes PureMotion™ 120 kW fuel cell power systems which provide exceptional fuel efficiency because they combine hydrogen gas stored on the bus with oxygen from the air at near-ambient pressure.
“Because we do not require a compressor, we greatly increase the fuel efficiency and reliability of the system as a whole,” says Jan van Dokkum, president of UTC Power. “This design makes the bus unbelievably quiet, plus there are no harmful emissions.”
“Integrating the UTC Power fuel cell with a hybrid-electric drive system has enabled us to achieve twice the fuel efficiency of diesel,” says Dave Mazaika, president and chief executive officer of ISE.
The bus design has received international recognition. “Utilizing a vehicle design very similar to the one we developed with UTC and ISE for AC Transit, we are building a demonstration bus for the European market to further advance the use of fuel cell hybrid-electric technology,” says Leopold Van Hool, managing director of Van Hool NV. In the United States, Van Hool buses and coaches are distributed exclusively by ABC Companies of Minnesota.
DOE Tech Validation
The HyRoad program is funded by grants from various federal, state and local agencies. As part of the Department of Energy’s Technology Validation Program, AC Transit will operate a fleet of Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage fuel cell vehicles, powered by a UTC Power fuel cell system.
“Hyundai is pleased to be a partner in developing a future of sustainable energy and transportation,” says Dr. Won Suk Cho, president of Hyundai America’s Technical Center.
AC Transit fuel cell buses have begun carrying real passengers in the real world.
“The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive,” Fernandez says. “When people learn that these fuel cell vehicles emit zero pollution, they can’t help but be impressed.”
AC Transit is one of the largest transit agencies in California, serving over 64 million passengers a year throughout a 360-square mile region. For 45 years, AC Transit has been recognized as a national leader in the transit industry. AC Transit has captured the American Public Transit Association’s “Best of the Best” award five out of the past seven years. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) of Washington, D.C. named AC Transit a “National Clean Bus Leader” for its advanced environmental technology initiatives. www.actransit.org/environment/.
Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, identifies, develops and commercializes emerging technologies and new energy systems that have the potential to create economic value for the company. www.chevron.com.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), based in Hartford, Conn., provides high-technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries. Its UTC Power company, based in South Windsor, Conn., is a full-service provider of environmentally advanced power solutions. With more than 40 years of experience, UTC Power is a world leader in developing and producing fuel cells for onsite power, transportation and space flight applications, and a developer of innovative combined cooling, heating and power applications in the distributed energy market. www.utcpower.com.
Van Hool NV of Belgium manufactures approximately 1,600 buses and coaches, and as many as 4,000 trailers annually, of which approximately 80% are exported worldwide to over 80 countries. Van Hool has a reputation for designing and building high quality, state-of-the-art, tailor-made products. www.vanhool.be. ABC Companies is the exclusive distributor of Van Hool buses and coaches in the U.S. A leader in the sales and leasing of new and pre-owned highway coaches, ABC Companies also provides routine mechanical service, major repairs, and a parts inventory at each of five full service facilities. www.abc-companies.com. ISE Corporation, based in San Diego, California, is a leading supplier of hybrid drive systems and components for heavy-duty vehicles such as buses, trucks, trams, airport equipment, and military vehicles. ISE is a world leader in electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell technologies, and the U.S. distributor for Siemens ELFA™ electric and hybrid-electric drive components. www.isecorp.com.
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group which includes over two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Employing over 57,000 people worldwide, Hyundai Motor vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5000 dealerships and showrooms.
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