Austin’s Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus

fuel cell busA few weeks ago, I was commuting using biofuels from my house to the university. In other words, I was walking.

I was surprised and pleased to see a very nice-looking bus on the university shuttle route, rather than the one I occasionally catch. I realized it was a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid electric bus, built by the UT Center for Electromechanics (CEM). It looked very cool!

I contacted CEM’s Bob Hebner and Michael Lewis about the bus, and the good news is that they will be bringing it along to the “Revenge of the Electric Car” screening event on campus next week that my electric vehicle center is hosting.

I asked Michael about the prospects for hydrogen vehicles. A limiting factor, he says, is fueling infrastructure. First adopters will be fleets and lift trucks in warehouses.

At The Electric Vehicle Transportation and Electricity Convergence (EV-TEC) Center, we are particularly concerned with the interaction of transportation and the electricity system. Michael agrees–a fuel cell vehicle similar to his bus, which could also be plugged in to charge up its batteries, would be a sensible development. Look out for more developments from CEM!

About Ross Baldick

Electricity is an increasingly complex industry in the midst of transition to renewables and decarbonization. Using my 25 years’ experience as an engineer, policy analyst, and academic, I help my consulting clients think through their toughest technical challenges and formulate their best business strategies.
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