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Powering Fuel Cell Buses In Europe

Ballard Power Systems' FCvelocity-HD6 fuel cell
Ballard Power Systems’ FCvelocity-HD6

Ballard Power Systems has received a sales order for five FCvelocity-HD6 power modules from Advanced Public Transportation Systems bv (APTS), a specialty bus OEM in The Netherlands, part of the VDL Group. The 150-kilowatt power modules will be installed and integrated by Vossloh-Kiepe with hybrid electric drive systems in 18-meter (60-foot) articulated Phileas buses manufactured by APTS.

Phileas is a new concept for passenger transport on high frequency dedicated bus lanes. When running on a free bus lane and equipped with magnetic markers for electronic lane assistance and precision docking, Phileas buses can offer the advantages of rapid rail transport.

Ballard’s power module is a ‘plug-and-play’ fuel cell-based product that enables system integrators to build clean energy buses more easily and at lower cost. These power modules incorporate sub-system components addressing humidification, hydrogen pressure regulation, hydrogen recirculation, water management, ventilation and controls. Since these sub-system components and fuel cell stacks are optimized within a power module, they can be more readily integrated with the bus hybrid electric drive system.

Michael Goldstein, Ballard’s Chief Commercial Officer stated, “The deployment of our FCvelocity-HD6 power modules with APTS and other customers such as BC Transit and Transport for London mean that fuel cell-based power solutions are gaining real traction in the global mass transit marketplace, delivering GHG reductions and energy conservation benefits.” He continued, “Ballard’s foundation of reliability and durability are an ideal fit for our customers in motive power, backup power and distributed generation.”

All the power modules will be shipped to APTS by the second quarter of 2010 and the first APTS Phileas bus incorporating a Ballard power module will be produced this year. Two Phileas buses powered by Ballard fuel cell modules will be operating in Cologne, Germany and two will be operating in Amsterdam. APTS currently has 70 Phileas buses in operation worldwide.

Ruud Bouwman, Director of APTS said, “We are certainly pleased to be working with Ballard on our Phileas buses. APTS sees a sizable potential European market for this fuel cell ‘tram on tires’ concept, with each fuel cell bus reducing CO2 emissions up to 155 tons per year.”

Ballard’s participation in demonstration programs through five generations of heavy duty fuel cell power modules has yielded over two million kilometers (1.2 million miles) of actual revenue service, transporting over seven million passengers on buses in various locations around the world. Ballard’s next generation heavy duty fuel cell power module, the FCvelocity-HD6, delivers enhanced fuel cell durability and improved efficiency at a reduced cost, while offering an industry leading 12,000-hour, 5-year warranty.

Ballard Power Systems provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications.

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