Webinar: Fuel Cell Buses

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Fuel Cell Buses

Below is the text version of the webinar titled "Fuel Cell Buses," originally presented on September 12, 2013. In addition to this text version of the audio, you can access the presentation slides.

Alli Aman:
Thanks for joining today's webinar. Before I turn it over to today's speakers, I want to go through a few housekeeping items with you guys. Today's webinar is being recorded, so a recording along with the slides will be posted to our website in about 10 days. I will send out an email once those post, so just keep your eyes open for that.

Everyone is on mute today, so if you have questions throughout the webinar, we encourage you to submit those via the question function on GoToMeeting. We will have a Q&A session at the—after each of the speakers' have given their portion of the presentation, and we'll cover those questions during that time.

And I also just want to thank you for attending today's webinar. We do have these monthly, so I encourage you to check back to our website for future webinars, and I also encourage you to sign up for our monthly newsletter that we send out that will keep you up to date on all the fun stuff going on in the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Office.

On that note, I'm going to turn it over to Greg Kleen. He's the acting education team lead for the DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Office. Greg? Greg, are you there? Hold on one second, everyone. Greg?

Greg Kleen:
Yes.

Alli Aman:
Oh, okay. There we go. Okay.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. Thanks.

Alli Aman:
Minor hiccup, but you're on—you're on board.

Greg Kleen:
Thanks, Alli. I just wanted to introduce the three speakers for today's presentation. The first speaker today is Leslie Eudy from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She has worked at NREL for 16 years evaluating alternative fuel, hybrid, and fuel cell propulsion technologies in heavy duty applications. She currently works in NREL's Hydrogen Technologies and Systems Center as part of the technology validation team. She has two primary areas of focus: evaluating performance data on fuel cell buses to help determine the status of the technology, and analyze the results of the FTA TIGGER Program.

Our second speaker today is Lauren Justice. She is a project manager at the Center for Transportation and the Environment, where she performs analysis necessary for the completion of advanced transportation research projects. Ms. Justice assists with the management of a number of CTE's fuel cell bus demonstration projects. She also leads data sharing and outreach efforts on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration National Fuel Cell Bus Program. CTE is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, that develops technologies and implements solutions to achieve energy and environmental sustainability.

Our third speaker today is Nico Bouwkamp from the California Fuel Cell Partnership. As the Fuel Cell Partnership's technology analyst, Nico is the project lead of member project teams intending to solve technical and informational challenges. In this role, he organized the project teams that wrote the roadmaps for the rollout of passenger fuel cell electric vehicles and fuel cell buses in California. In addition, he leads the California Fuel Cell Partnership Bus Team by bringing together all the organizations involved with fuel cell bus programs in California, and chairs the SAE J2601-2 Heavy Duty Gaseous Hydrogen Bus Fueling TIR Task Force.

Nico received a master's in business administration from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, specializing in management of technology and innovation.

So with that, I would like to turn it over to our first speaker today. Leslie?

Leslie Eudy:
Thanks, Greg. So I thought I'd give an overview of the development of fuel cell buses over the last 10 years or so, for those who may be less familiar with what's going on with the world of fuel cell buses. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So why do we want to look at fuel cells for transit buses? For one, we need to reduce bus emissions, improve fuel efficiency, vehicle performance, and also for customer acceptance. It makes the buses more pleasant for the customers. And transit industry has become a really great test bed for looking at new technologies. For one, they're centrally fueled and maintained, so the buses come back—they go out on a fixed route in their urban stop and go duty cycle, and they come back to a set location, so it makes it easier for having a fueling station for these buses.

They also receive funding support from the federal government, and they're also high visibility and high impact. So you have—you can expose a lot more people to the technology on a bus than you can in maybe say a fuel cell car. While fuel cell cars are great, you can get a lot more people in a bus. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So the development timeline for fuel cell buses sort of ramped up around 2000, and that's when California Air Resources Board passed new a transit rule that was looking at lowering emissions and starting to demonstrate some zero emission technology. So we saw our first early demonstrations of some single prototypes starting around 2002, 2003, and that's about the time that DOE began funding NREL's technology validation to collect data and analyze it and report on fuel cell electric buses.

So the first multiple bus fleet demonstrations started up in California, and most of those were in response to the California Air Resources Board transit rule that required some advanced demonstrations. Then we saw FTA initiated in 2006 their National Fuel Cell Bus Program, and they also funded NREL to collect data on those buses that were developed under that program.

So in 2010, we saw our first larger scale fleet introduced, and that was in the Bay Area of California, and the first new bus developed under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program went into service about that same year. And then toward the end of 2012, DOE and the Department of Transportation established commercialization targets for fuel cell electric buses. So that's kind of a history of where we've been over the last, you know, decade or so. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So there are a number of things that have promoted the development of fuel cell electric buses. I mentioned the California Air Resources Board Transit Rule. This rule set some stringent emission standards for new urban bus engines. They set fleet emission averages, and they promoted advanced technologies, specifically zero emission buses. Now for the transit agencies in California that were—that had to do these buses as a requirement, they could look at anything that was zero tailpipe emissions. So that would be fuel cell electric, battery electric, or trolley buses.

And the early demonstrations were focused on fuel cell buses. We had eight fuel cell buses at three different agencies. And then later on, the advanced demonstrations were a larger number of buses. This is the ZEBA fleet that's out of the San Francisco Bay area that's in demonstration right now. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So in 2006, the Federal Transit Administration started their National Fuel Cell Bus Program. So this was a cooperative agreement with a number—with manufacturers, with industry and government, 50/50 cost share. Since this time, there's been $90 million—almost $90 million authorized on this program to date. And the teams were competitively selected. So FTA's goal was to have a nice balanced portfolio of projects as part of this program, so that included a number of fuel cell electric bus demonstrations. There were some specific development projects for components that would go into fuel cell buses, such as the fuel cell or converters and things like that. And then there were a number of outreach and education projects. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So this slide shows you last week—actually, it was on the fifth, I got this date wrong. And they announced the awards for the most recent—for the most recent funding for the National Fuel Cell Bus Program, and you can see there are several, the first ones—the first four were—are all—well, first five are all bus demonstration projects. The first one is to extend the fleet operation of the current fleet in the Bay Area at AC Transit. Then the next three will be brand new buses developed under the program in different areas. We see we'll have one in Cleveland and another one at SunLine in Palm Springs, and then a new one in New York. The Birmingham is to help to finish out the demonstration of a bus that should go into service I think later this year.

Then there'll be an Altoona test—a bus tested in Altoona—and that'll be one of the American fuel cell buses that was developed under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program. And then the last two are education and outreach projects that will be going on in the next couple of years. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So one of the things that we're looking at, last year we introduced some technology readiness levels for fuel cell buses. So the graph at the top shows you the commercialization projects for pretty much any advanced technologies, including fuel cell buses. So you start out at TRL level one. So if you look at the numbers at the bottom, that's the TRL level. And you go through from basic research and concept through the technology development all the way to deployment, which is TRL level nine.

So where we are with fuel cell buses right now are at the stage between TRL six and eight, where the manufacturers are working with the transit agencies, they're putting buses into service, they're validating the performance, they're assessing where they are in comparison to benchline—baseline technology. They're making further optimizations, and they're kind of going through this iterative process to develop the technology and get it completely ready for a full commercial deployment.

The chart—the table at the bottom shows you the manufacturer teams that are currently operating fuel cell buses in the United States, and where we see them falling in that TRL level. So you can see that most of them are somewhere between six and seven. Usually, buses that fall into that TRL level six are brand new prototypes. There's only a few of them out. And then as they get more of those and have more demonstration time under their belt, they move into TRL level seven. So that's kind of where we are with the buses that we're looking at right now for fuel cells. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So DOE and DOT through the Federal Transit Administration have been collaborating over the last decade on the development of fuel cell buses. So you can see that DOE typically puts their money into some R&D for components, things like platinum loadings on fuel cells, and some of the components that go into fuel cell buses, and DOT funds the larger programs that deploy fuel cell buses, help with infrastructure, and get them out on the street. And both have funded NREL to do technology validation so that we can compare them to targets, look at the accomplishments, and what items need to be done to further this technology to commercial products for transit buses. So there's a good collaboration going on there.

And I believe that's my last slide, so I'm done, and I'll turn it over to Lauren Justice.

[Next slide]

Lauren Justice:
Thanks, Leslie. I'd like to thank the DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Office for inviting me to speak here today. I'm just going to speak briefly, to give a snapshot of where fuel cell buses stand on a worldwide scale. I think I have controls. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So there's about 70 fuel cell buses in operation around the world today, give or take. These are primarily focused in three main areas: Canada, Europe, and the U.S. And each of these three places have about 20 fuel cell buses in operation.

In Canada, the 20 fuel cell buses are in a single fleet. This is a New Flyer manufactured fleet. It's in operation in Whistler, Canada, and it's been operating since 2010. It's set to operate through 2014, so they're currently—BC Transit is currently evaluating the future plans for this fleet.

The 20 buses in operation in Europe are focused more in smaller-scale deployments of about five buses per site. As Leslie mentioned, one of the key measurements for fuel cell bus development and moving toward commercialization is the technology readiness levels, and she mentioned that in the U.S., we have a portfolio and our projects are hitting around the six and seven TRL level mark. I think it's fair to say that Europe might be a little bit further down the scale. They're getting closer to hitting level seven with most of their demonstrations. These are smaller buses, and they're on the second or third generations of these buses' development.

In the U.S., the 20 buses that are deployed in our country, there's a larger fleet of the 12 fuel cell buses that are in operation at AC Transit in the San Francisco Bay area, and then there's a number of one or two buses in operation at various cities around the country.

None of these buses that are in operation today would be possible without significant government support. In the US, the support comes through the FTA's National Fuel Cell Bus Program, and then as Leslie mentioned, a number of California's demonstrations have made—been made possible through regulations that the Air Resources Board set up.

In Europe, the government support comes in three tiers. There's the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. This is a European Union Commission level of support. And then most of the demonstrations also receive support from the countries where they're located, as well as the cities where the buses are being demonstrated.

The Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking in Europe was begun about the same time as the U.S.'s National Fuel Cell Bus Program, and it started with a project called the CUTE Program. And under this program, 33 fuel-cell-dominant Daimler buses were deployed around the world, primarily in Europe but also in Australia and in China.

And one of the key learnings from this project was that a fuel cell hybrid configuration would offer much greater efficiency as well as being able to have a smaller fuel cell on board the buses and preserve the fuel cell lifetime. So when the Joint Undertaking moved forward with their next program, which is being operated right now, which is the CHIC program, they deployed only hybrid fuel cell buses, and that's true of the majority of buses now in operation around the world. They're all fuel cell hybrid, battery hybrid configuration.

So the Joint Undertaking started with the CUTE Program. Then they moved to the CHIC Program, which is underway. And they've also launched a third program, which is known as the High V.LO City Program, and that project will deploy 14 buses in three separate cities in Scotland, Italy, and Belgium. And those buses are all Van Hool buses, and they will be deployed in 2014.

In the top right corner of the screen you can see an example of the All-American Bus. This is being operated in SunLine, at SunLine in Palm Springs, and the yellow bus is the Swiss Daimler bus that's being operated under the CHIC Program. In the bottom right corner, these are the Van Hool buses that are currently in operation in Oslo. They're sister buses to the Van Hool buses that are being operated by AC Transit.

And in the bottom middle of the screen is the new Indian fuel cell bus. This was actually completed within this past month and is undergoing testing, and once testing is completed on this bus, they'll move forward with developing a fleet of 12 fuel cell buses to be operated in India.

In these other locations around the world, India, Brazil, and China particularly, Ballard is taking a pretty large lead in partnering with locations to work directly with local bus manufacturers and set up fleets and deploy these buses. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So some details of the current buses that are in operation in the United States. These are four main locations, and it's worth noting that there have been a few other buses in operation recently, but these are the four main sites where NREL has focused their evaluation and the most data exist for these sites. The top three sites listed all began their bus operations around 2010, and the final site, the SunLine All-American fuel cell bus, began operations in 2012.

And the top site, the AC transit bus, is similar to the four buses that were deployed at Connecticut Transit. These are Van Hool buses with formerly UTC fuel cells that have now been transferred to ClearEdge Power. The Connecticut Transit buses, about a year ago, two of those buses were moved to other transit agencies in the United States, so that those transit agencies could get experience with fuel cell bus technology. Namely, Flint, Michigan, has been operating a bus for about a year, and Cleveland, Ohio, has also been operating one of those buses for a year.

The SunLine AT bus—stands for Advanced Technology—is a similar configuration to the buses that are in operation in Whistler, Canada.

One of the key performance metrics that NREL captures is the fuel economy. A typical transit diesel bus gets about three to four miles per gallon equivalent fuel economy, and so you can see that these fuel cell buses are getting significantly greater fuel economy, ranging from over five miles per diesel gallon equivalent up to close to eight. Next slide.

[Next slide]

And this chart just shows that fuel economy comparison in a little bit more detail. I definitely need to thank Leslie for allowing me to use her slides. These are from the Annual Merit Review that took place this past spring. So all of the data presented here is mostly from 2012, and I'm sure Leslie could speak more to any data from the current year. But this chart shows that the fuel cell bus designs are achieving nearly twice the fuel economy as their diesel counterparts operated in the same fleets. The red line shows the target of eight miles per diesel gallon equivalent. This is one of the targets that were set by DOE and DOT to help measure the performance as fuel cell buses move toward commercialization. Next slide.

[Next slide]

Bus availability is another metric that's used to evaluate fuel cell bus performance. And availability means if a bus was set to perform service on a given day, was it actually ready and did it actually go out the door and meet the schedule as planned? The target availability for fuel cell buses has been set at 90 percent, and you can see that toward the end of 2012, particularly the SunLine All-American fuel cell bus was hitting that target or getting very close to it on a regular basis. And perhaps the biggest thing to note is the general upward trend that we're seeing in the availability of the technology. Next slide.

[Next slide]

So this chart does not capture any of the fuel cell bus projects that were announced last week that Leslie covered. These were ones that were already in the pipeline prior to that. And then starting at the bottom is when they're set to be deployed in a chronological order. So by the end of this year, we should have two more buses on the streets, namely the Compound Hybrid in San Francisco, and then the EV America fuel cell bus should begin operations in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Proterra Next Generation bus is set to be demonstrated in Austin, Texas, and it will arrive in January or February of 2014, and it will be demonstrated there for a year, and then it will move on to Washington, D.C., to be operated there for the following year.

The Connecticut All-American bus is also in development, alongside three more All-American buses that will be deployed in Chicago, as well as SunLine will receive another two.

And it's worth noting that six of these seven buses were all procured under standard research procurements, with the federal government taking a large amount of the risk on. And one of the recently awarded projects from the recent National Fuel Cell Bus Program award is to develop a document that will help provide guidance to transit agencies as we try to move fuel cell buses from demonstration into full commercialization. It'll help transit agencies develop the request for proposals and to help share the risks across the transit agencies and the federal government as this new technology emerges.

So the Connecticut Transit All-American bus was the only fuel cell bus that has been procured through standard procurement procedures up to this point. All of the other fuel cell buses have been procured as research projects. Next slide.

[Next slide]

Okay. So jumping over to Europe, there's about 23 fuel cell buses operating there under the CHIC project. There's a number of manufacturer teams in Europe, as well as have been demonstrated in the United States. Those teams include ones led by Daimler as well as Wrightbus, Van Hool, and APTS. The CHIC project buses all entered service about 2011, and have been set to operate for five years.

The buses in Europe are showing similar fuel economies to the ones in the United States, slightly greater, about 8.76 miles per diesel gallon equivalent. So next slide.

[Next slide]

And these are the next European fuel cell projects in the pipeline. I actually just received a notice today that the Bolzano—the first bus was delivered to Bolzano a week or two ago, and has entered training and testing, and they're set to receive the next four buses within the next month or two.

Following on that, the three sites that are participating in the High V.LO City project will receive their buses toward the end of this year, the beginning of next year, and as mentioned, these are all Van Hool buses. Next slide.

[Next slide]

In addition to the fuel cell demonstration projects that Europe has, they also have—like the U.S., they have some research and education-based efforts. Particularly the "Urban Buses: Alternative Power Trains for Europe" paper was published this past year, and this was an effort to compare fuel cell bus technology alongside other conventional and advanced transit bus technology, and to determine certain cost benefits. And in fact, this report did state that fuel cell buses offer the biggest bang for your buck in terms of life cycle costs, and that fuel cell buses do offer significant environmental benefits over other technologies.

The Joint Undertaking has funded a next phase of their powertrain study, and it will detail a roadmap for Europe in terms of hydrogen and fuel cells in transit. The Joint Undertaking also released a call for proposals for the next set of demonstrations, and I believe these are—should be announced sooner rather than later. What's worth noting about these is they're definitely moving toward a more strategic regional plan for their projects. They definitely have requested that all projects have at least five buses per site, and they're very—must be tied to existing hydrogen fueling network and have a strong emphasis on using renewable hydrogen production for their fuel. Next slide.

[Next slide]

And so just to cover the remaining fuel cell buses in the world, as I mentioned, Canada has a fleet of 20. Japan is operating a number of older model fuel cell buses. These are usually used as airport shuttles in a couple of their primary airports. Sao Paolo is in discussions to deploy a fleet of three fuel cell buses as well as a fleet of 25 fuel cell buses. In India, as I mentioned, Tata has partnered with Ballard and the first fuel cell bus is in testing, and they're hoping to deploy a larger fleet in the coming year. And there's also been an MOU signed between Ballard and Azure to deploy fuel cell buses in China. And I know that Korea has expressed interest in fuel cell buses, and they've unveiled a prototype, but that was a number of years ago. Next slide.

[Next slide]

I'd like to close by mentioning that I'm about a month away from the International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop. This is an effort that CTE partnered with a German organization known as Hysolutions in Hamburg to organize this event. It's—we've got a large number of sponsors, and we're expecting a great turnout. We've got significant high level presenters, government presenters from the European Union as well as from the U.S., as well as a number of technology providers and transit agencies represented from around the world. So this is an exciting event that we look forward to. I think that's my last slide. Okay. So on to Nico.

[Next slide]

Nico Bouwkamp:
Thank you, Lauren. Nice presentation. First of all, I wanted to thank DOE, their Fuel Cell Technologies Office, for this opportunity to present about fuel cell buses. I was glad to see that Leslie and Lauren were able to give an overview of the global activities as well as what the Fuel Cell Bus Program consists of in the U.S..

So let's see if I have controls. I do. Okay.

[Next slide]

There we go. So for California, and to make the transition from where—what Leslie and Lauren described, how do we go from where we are now to where we want to be in the future? And we at the Fuel Cell Partnership tried to figure this out by answering this question. So how can fuel cell buses become one of the advanced vehicle technologies that transit agencies will choose to fulfill California's goal of decreasing transportation air pollution, and particularly for public transit, and you heard Leslie mention the zero emission bus rule, which is actually currently on hold—they're waiting for data from the AC Transit Program to be able to know how to move forward.

So what we focused on with writing our Fuel Cell Bus Roadmap, which I'm going to talk about right now, is on a step change in the fuel cell bus market from the current pre-commercial phase, like phase seven, six or seven, which was described by Leslie as well as by Lauren, and manufacturing through the early commercial phase. And I give a little short overview here at the bottom that's based on NREL's technology readiness levels for fuel cell buses. You can see a short description of where we are right now in California. TRL seven is basically describing a full scale demonstration and reliability testing of five to ten buses per location, and obviously, SunLine is at the lower end of that, and AC Transit is at the higher end of that.

So the step change we want to achieve is to move from level seven to eight in California, and I'm going to describe how we think this is possible in California, how we can achieve that.

[Next slide]

Earlier, you heard Leslie talk about the U.S. DOE and the U.S. DOT targets, and so these are the targets here. I added the TRL levels to this, so you can see that the 2012 status, which was last year, obviously, is TRL level seven. From there, we want to move to level eight, and that's what I'm going to describe to you, and how we think we can achieve that in California. And then eventually, we'll have to move onto TRL level nine, which is full commercialization.

So what I want to emphasize in these levels, in this—the 2016 targets, we go to—from a $2 million bus, that was the 2012 status, to a $1 million bus, and eventually to a $600,000 bus, which is comparable to CNG, CNG hybrid buses, or advanced technology buses.

Another thing that I want to point out is bus availability, the third line on this table. The 2016 target is focusing on 85 percent availability, and that's the common availability number that is used in transit, and—but for fuel cell buses, the manufacturers—this information was put together by industry and government and research institutes to make sure there was a correct reflection of what actually was possible, and they want to focus with bus availability on 90 percent as the ultimate target, which is even higher than what the current target is for most transit agencies. And again, it's about the step change so going from 2012 to 2016 targets, and then towards the ultimate target.

[Next slide]

So to achieve this, we've put together a rollout strategy for California. So the goal is to move deployment and manufacturing from pre-commercial, which is—which runs about time period-wise until 2015, to early commercial, and we think that could happen in 2016 or 2017. And the major objectives of this rollout strategy are to create two centers of excellence, one in Northern California and one in Southern California. And that's chosen because of the geographical separation in California that's pretty far apart, as well as that's where the transit agencies are that need to meet the zero emission bus rule in California. And another objective is to achieve these goals that I showed you earlier, and also an important part is to provide information to support state and federal level decision-making on moving forward with bus technology.

[Next slide]

So what are the details of these centers of excellence? So the key components are really—one of the main key components is that it should be a single bus configuration per site, and ideally, they're manufactured in a serial production run of 40 units over 1 to 2 years, so obviously you can't just roll out 40 buses within a month. That's challenging at this point. But the 40 units number is the main number to go with per center of excellence.

These vehicles obviously need to meet the transit agency requirements, to operate in revenue service, and we're focusing with this on a fully comparable or competitive bus. So it has a 12 year operating period, nothing of the 3 to 4 years that is currently happening with the programs, but really going to a fully capable bus that runs the same amount of time as the conventionally fueled buses.

We considered that we think that a single hydrogen fueling station per site should be sufficient to achieve like fuel costs per mile as comparable to diesel buses and CNG buses. There are some variables in here that could change, but that's the main focus, and then also that the vehicles are introduced in the 2016 timeframe. And then additional to a center—what's important for a center of excellence as well is that their staff and stakeholders get trained on vehicle maintenance, but also on education of, for example, fire departments, et cetera, et cetera.

[Next slide]

I'll show you quickly some fueling station assumptions, because you may have been wondering how this all would work without an infrastructure, but there is an infrastructure, obviously, and these are what our members, the gas station suppliers, what they think is feasible and what's reasonable. So we will be looking at a station lifetime that's 15 to 20 years. That's not been seen so far, but it's common for conventional fuels to have—to focus on this kind of a timeline. The fuel pressure would be 35 MPa. Higher is not necessary because the range is going to be achieved with this fuel pressure. The range is the range that a bus needs to operate the whole day.

Five to eight minutes per fill. This is—this comes from diesel operating transit agencies or diesel bus operating transit agencies. It could be slower. Not all transit agencies have to fill this quickly. It could also be 10 to 15 minutes, and that's actually where most fuel cell buses are being fueled at—within that timeframe, in about 10 to 15 minutes.

What's also important is that there should be two dispensers, so they can fill simultaneously, which puts an additional technological requirement on the stations, but that's more realistic than having a single dispenser and having to rely on a single dispenser. And then there's a bus fueling window, 4 to 5 hours a day, which is assuming that buses at large transit agencies operate 19 to 20 hours a day.

[Next slide]

So the budget we put together for this on being able to put this in place and operate this for 12 years is about $50 million, and this can be broken up as follows, as you can see in the table. We're assuming $1 million per bus, which is about $30 million per location, above what is normally paid for conventionally fueled buses, so that's the bus cost only. What we're using for this assumption for a conventionally fueled bus is about $480,000. That's what AFTA reported in 2011 as the average purchase cost of a full-sized bus in the U.S.

So as you can see, that adds up to $40 million per site for the buses only. Then there is a station that's needed that's about $5 million. The maintenance facility, and keep in mind, we consider this a conventional number, the $2 million. The facility has to be upgraded to be able to deal with the maintenance of hydrogen buses, as is the case with CNG buses and diesel buses—they have their own requirements for the facilities.

And then we're also considering in all of this that there will be a midlife overhaul of the bus power plant. We're calculating about $80,000 per bus. An overhaul is pretty typical after six years. It happens for diesel buses as well as for CNG buses. The whole engine gets rebuilt in that case, and that will also be expected to be needed for fuel cell buses, where the fuel cell has to be refurbished, and where the hybrid batteries need to be replaced or refurbished.

For all of this, we are assuming that the fuel and station O&M will be paid for by the vehicle operator, in this case the transit agency. And we're assuming that the cost for fuel will be about $4.00 to $9.00 per kilogram, which heavily depends on the mode of supply. The lower end is probably a pipeline delivered hydrogen, and at the higher end, maybe an onsite steam methane reformation or electrolysis, and somewhere in between there would be liquid hydrogen that's delivered. And then the O&M, operation and maintenance costs, would be about $200,000 per year. Excuse me.

But of course, as I mentioned earlier, I referred to it earlier, the cost—these costs could be reduced, at least the capital costs in the station could be reduced by utilizing existing infrastructure. So as both Leslie and Lauren mentioned, there is a program underway at AC Transit that's already operational, and hypothetically, it could use the existing fueling infrastructure there for a 40-bus operation program as well.

[Next slide]

So currently, we're working on a funding scenario and trying to figure out how to fund this program of 40 buses per two locations, so two locations with 40 buses each. So this is—this would obviously lead to the step change to make fuel cell bus manufacturing move from level seven, TRL seven, to eight, and have this first $1 million fuel cell bus on the road in the U.S. that's fully capable and comparable with a conventional bus.

So you can see here that we're assuming that the main—the large majority of the funding will come from conventional fueling. It's called 5307 funding under FTA. This is where transit agencies normally get their funding from to purchase their buses. Another one, and obviously this is specifically applicable to California, we have a program called AB118, it's an alternative fuels program. We think that about 19 percent of the funding could come from that, and this obviously applies to the whole center of excellence, all the fueling infrastructure as well as the capital costs for the buses will be included in this.

Cap and trade auction proceeds—this is the carbon emission cap and trade program that's in place in California. That also provides 19 percent, and then the—there's another program under the Air Resources Board. It's called the Hybrid Voucher Program. It's for heavy duty applications where organizations like transit agencies and transportation companies can apply for funding when they purchase advanced vehicle technology vehicles.

Then we expect that the air quality management districts in each—each in Northern and Southern California would contribute to this as well, and that would be about five percent of the total funding for the centers of excellence. And then regional match funding, and regional match funding would be considered like something that would be provided by a local metropolitan transportation commission, for example, which applies in both areas.

So typically, the funding for buses is 80/20, so 80 percent would be supplied for—by FTA, and 20 percent by local sources. So that gives you an idea of what the difference is compared to what we're asking for. And keep in mind, the typical funding only applies on buses. This is not talking about fueling infrastructure.

[Next slide]

So from a timeline perspective, this gives you an overview about what we think is doable. The timeline may have shifted a little bit and may have gotten a little longer, but we've moved already through the first two steps, and we're working on the fourth and fifth step. So we're working on providing input to the regulatory planning process, and also to identify funding.

What's important in all of this is that we have continued NREL fuel cell bus data collection, because if we don't do that, people will not learn from it, and they don't know where to improve and how technology compares and how competitive it could be with existing technologies.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention, that we're aiming for the middle of 2016 to have these centers of excellence operational.

[Next slide]

This is a quick overview of the CaFCP members. It's a mixture of federal, state, regional government, as well as car manufacturers, but also air quality management districts and gas companies, transit agencies, and—as well as fuel cell bus manufacturers.

[Next slide]

With that, I'm at the end of my presentation. I'm going to give the controls back to Greg. Thank you.

[Next slide]

Greg Kleen:
Hello. Yes, thank you for all the presentations. I think you all did a wonderful job. So we do have some questions, so I'll get right into it here. I guess the first question is for Leslie. Are there any plans to extend research or demonstration projects within the metropolitan areas of Texas?

Leslie Eudy:
We basically cover any of the fleets that were funded through either FTA or DOE. That will include the new bus that Lauren mentioned that's going to be in Austin. We will be collecting data on that. Other than that, I'm not aware of specific buses that are going to be in the Texas area any time soon.

Greg Kleen:
I guess another question here, which I think—I mean, it was kind of covered in the presentation, but how much would a fuel cell bus cost today? It looked like the 2012 status was $2 million, but we're looking at $1 million here shortly. Maybe—Nico, could you answer that question?

Nico Bouwkamp:
Yeah. I think you already answered it. It's about $2 million at the moment, but if the buses were purchased—if it was a purchase order for 40 buses, it would drop down to $1 million. And we've had it confirmed by the bus manufacturers.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. Another question is related to the hybridization of the buses. What percentage of the fuel cell is utilized in the driving profile versus how much is with batteries or other power systems? I guess that's really to anyone that would like to take that question.

Leslie Eudy:
I guess I'll take that one. There are two basic design strategies that we're looking at. Some of the early buses that you've seen that we collected data on have been more fuel cell dominant. I don't know the percentage, but it's mostly fuel cell. And some of the newer buses that we're seeing come out are more battery dominant. So we're seeing both sides of the coin with respect to percentage of fuel cell versus battery.

We don't have enough data on the battery dominant buses to really say how well they're going to work relative to the fuel cell dominant buses, but we will be collecting data on those as we move forward.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. Thank you. And I guess—so what will that translate into kilowatts for the range of the fuel cell sizes?

Nico Bouwkamp:
So some of these full-size bus—fuel cell buses, they have fuel cells in them that are about 120 to 150 kilowatts. So it's a—that's a challenging question to answer exactly what you just asked, but maybe that gives an idea about the sizes of the fuel cell, and there's a battery in addition, obviously, to make the hybrid configuration.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. And I guess—okay, so I have a question here for Lauren. Could you please—I guess they were asking for the Hartford, Connecticut, buses, who are the manufacturers for those buses?

Lauren Justice:
So the original four fuel cell buses that were deployed at Connecticut were Van Hool buses. And I think two but maybe one is still in operation at Connecticut. Connecticut has now procured one of the All-American fuel cell buses, the ElDorado BAE Ballard configuration. And then I think they were awarded one additional bus of the same configuration through the recent National Fuel Cell Bus Program award. So I think they're set to receive two more of the ElDorado buses.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. Thank you. And I guess I also received a comment—this was during Lauren's presentation, but I guess US Hybrid has publicly announced their purchase of the transportation fuel cell technology from ClearEdge. So you listed ClearEdge on some items, but I guess now that's becoming US Hybrid.

Lauren Justice:
Yes. I wasn't sure of the extent of their contracting, how much—if they're through with all of that contracting at this point, if US Hybrid is just providing a level of support to the current project, or how much of their name is actually on the product at this point, but that's absolutely right. US Hybrid will be taking over all of UTC's fuel cell—previously UTC's fuel cell commitments. All the existing fuel cell buses, US Hybrid will be providing the support for those ongoing.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. There was—there was a question during your presentation, Lauren. It looked like the miles per gallon for the European or I guess miles per gallon equivalent for the European buses was higher than the U.S. buses. I guess—do you have any thoughts on why that would be the case, or maybe that's a question for Leslie, too. Maybe that's something that she can…

Lauren Justice:
Yeah. I'm interested to know why that is myself. I've—that's the numbers I received from the European partners, and I hope to speak with them in more detail at the upcoming workshop and get more up to date numbers, and also discuss why we think they're getting higher fuel economics. I don't know, Leslie, if you wanted to add anything to that.

Leslie Eudy:
I do want to add to that. These buses are very duty cycle dependent with these hybrid buses, so that's one of the reasons why we try to collect a baseline bus in the same sort of service, so you can see what the diesel bus does compared to the fuel cell bus. So for Europe, their duty cycle is fairly different. They've got smaller roads and a lot more stop and go, so I'm assuming that it has something to do with their specific duty cycle being different from the ones that we've looked at here in the States.

Nico Bouwkamp:
And in addition to that, there may also be a difference in fuel cells. As you may have seen, that some of the higher-end mileage ones have an AFCC fuel cell, and the other one is a Ballard fuel cell, which is an automotive fuel cell compared to a bus fuel cell. I'm emphasizing "may" be a difference.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. All right. The questions keep coming in. This is great. We have some time here. The next question is about AB118. Is that California's version of a renewable portfolio standard?

Nico Bouwkamp:
No, that's—AB118, as we call it here, is an alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure program under the California Energy Commission, which has money assigned every year, and it gets distributed over different alternative fuels, and the infrastructure as well as vehicle development.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. And here's a question asking if there's funding sources available for infrastructure.

Nico Bouwkamp:
Is that a question for me as well?

Greg Kleen:
Yeah, Nico, why don't you answer that one?

Nico Bouwkamp:
Yes, there is funding available for infrastructure. Currently, the main focus in California is on passenger vehicles, but there has—there have been comments made, and there has been funding made available as well for funding the bus fueling stations. For example, AC Transit stations were I think pretty much funded by the AB118 funding that was not specifically assigned for that, but that was made available for that when the request came in and a proposal was made to the CDC. 

Greg Kleen:
Okay. Let's see. I'm going through them here. I guess with the different—so I guess there's a question again on the duty cycle and efficiency. So with the different duty cycle, how much of a bus profile efficiency performance is associated with fuel cell and regenerative braking systems? Leslie, could you answer that one?

Leslie Eudy:
I'm not sure how to answer that question. I guess I don't understand exactly what they're asking.

Greg Kleen:
I think they're asking what the—how much is—maybe how much of the efficiency you're getting with the regenerative braking systems. Also, how much does that add to the total efficiency of the bus?

Leslie Eudy:
Well, that's a good question, and the data that we have collected in the past has not necessarily been at that level of detail. We kind of look at the bus as a whole. It would depend on the amount of batteries versus amount of fuel cells, and I'd have to have a lot more data to be able to answer that question.

Nico Bouwkamp:
Leslie, this is Nico. There is a difference, right, between a non-hybridized bus and a hybridized bus, correct? In the fuel cell bus?

Leslie Eudy:
Yes, there certainly is a difference, and the ones that we looked at early on that were not hybridized, they were straight fuel cell buses, got lower equivalent fuel economy than the diesels in the same service.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. There's a question about if you're only using the 35 megapascals, are you missing out on an opportunity to improve the hydrogen fueling infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles? How about Nico? Could you talk to that question?

Nico Bouwkamp:
That's a good question. You probably do, but from a cost perspective, going to 70 MPa, which is the passenger vehicle standard or the focus, it significantly increases the capital costs of the fueling infrastructure, as well as the capital costs of the tanks on the buses. So to an extent, yes, but to the larger extent and the more important one for the transit agencies, the cost, no. In that regard, it doesn't help.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. Sure. And there's been more questions on the hybridization. I guess there was a question asking what percent of the time is the fuel cell powering the bus versus batteries, and that really just depends on—I'm assuming that just depends on the amount of hybridization on the bus. Is there any more—maybe Leslie, would you like to take that on a little bit more?

[Pause]

Greg Kleen:
Leslie?

Leslie Eudy:
This is back to the same things that we've been discussing. We'd need more data to do that kind of analysis, and I have not looked at it at that level before, so I can't really answer some of these questions.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. Sure. And has anyone been using super ultra capacitors instead of batteries?

Lauren Justice:
I can take that. I know that London's buses use both ultra caps and batteries, and I do believe that the articulated fuel cell buses in Cologne possibly use ultra capacitors also. I don't think any of the buses in the States are using these, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Nico Bouwkamp:
The ones in Korea may use them as well.

Greg Kleen:
Okay. And I think that's—I think that's all the questions, so I'll turn it back over to Alli here, and she can wrap up the webinar today.

Alli Aman:
Thank you, everyone. What a great presentation. So thanks to Leslie, Lauren, and Nico for taking time out of your schedule to present today. We greatly appreciate it. Just to remind everyone, slides along with the recording of the webinar will be posted to our website in about 10 days. I will also send out an email notification once those are up on our website. And again, I encourage you to visit our website to be informed of future webinars. We already have a couple planned for October, and throughout the end of the year, so I encourage you to check back to our website, and I also encourage you to sign up for our newsletter that we send out once a month.

And at that I'm going to conclude our webinar, and I just thank everyone, especially today's speakers. Thanks.

Nico Bouwkamp:
Thank you, Alli.