Transportation Department Awards $13.1 Million for Green Transit

April 11, 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation on April 2 awarded $13.1 million to fund 11 innovative research and demonstration projects under the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) National Fuel Cell Bus Program. The program advances hydrogen fuel cell power for transit buses and is designed to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and promote cleaner air.

The funds are shared by three consortia: Calstart in Pasadena, California; the Center for Transportation and the Environment in Atlanta, Georgia; and the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium in Boston, Massachusetts. The projects will directly impact organizations and municipalities in seven states, including California, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina. All three consortia will engage in work to develop various fuel cell components, test U.S.-made buses under real-world conditions powered by fuel cells, and conduct educational outreach.

According to DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the FTA, every fuel cell-powered bus put into service in the United States could reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by 100 tons annually and eliminate the need for 9,000 gallons of fuel every year over the life of the vehicle. For buses currently running on diesel fuel, that translates into a savings of more than $37,000 per year, per vehicle. See the Transportation Department press release and the project descriptions PDF.