The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Sept 5 $13.6 million in federal funding to advance the commercialization of American-made fuel cell buses for the transit industry.
Eight projects were selected to receive a share of FY2012 funds through FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which has provided nearly $90 million since 2006 to speed the development of fuel cell technology by tapping American innovation and bringing more opportunities to American manufacturers.
“The Obama Administration is committed to investing in projects that bring cleaner, greener transportation options to more Americans and help our nation compete globally in the 21st century,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These investments will continue to expand innovative transportation alternatives so people across the country can get across town safely and efficiently.”
Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff made the announcement at BAE Systems in Endicott, N.Y., which makes hybrid propulsion systems. A current funding recipient under FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program, BAE is helping to build next-generation fuel cell buses for the Sunline Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, Calif., the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in Cleveland, and Tompkins Consolidated Transit Authority in Ithaca, N.Y.
“Federal investments in fuel cell technology and other green energy sources have been a tremendous catalyst for America’s innovators as they find new ways to power public transportation for the future,” Rogoff said. “We’re proud of our role in supporting cutting-edge research that protects and creates good jobs here in upstate New York and around the nation.”
Funding for the projects announced today will be managed by CALSTART and the Center for Transportation and the Environment, two non-profit organizations that are responsible for developing and managing projects as part of the National Fuel Cell Bus Program.
From FY2006 through FY2012, FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program has been a leader for the transit industry in supporting innovative research and demonstration and deployment projects that are helping to reduce the cost of fuel cells for transit use, creating American jobs and manufacturing opportunities, and benefitting other types of clean-powered buses such as hybrid and battery-powered buses that use the same electric drive technology. The National Fuel Cell Bus Program also helps project partners meet FTA’s Buy America requirements.
Later this year, FTA expects to announce funding for a new Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment grant program to support the commercialization of a variety of clean fuel technologies, including fuel cell and battery-powered buses. The program, authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), will continue to move FTA’s energy research goals forward.