The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $12 million in funding for several fuel cell bus projects in California headed by non-profit public-private consortium Calstart in Oakland, San Francisco, the Coachella Valley and Southern California.

“Through this national funding program, we can consolidate and accelerate the process of making hydrogen buses commercially feasible as cleaner, more efficient alternatives,” said FTA Administrator James Simpson.

“This critical funding will allow California transit properties to develop, test, and evaluate the next generation of fuel cell bus technology,” said John Boesel, president & CEO of Calstart, noting that these fuel cell bus projects will build upon existing fuel cell demonstration programs at AC Transit in Oakland and at SunLine Transit in the Coachella Valley.

“UTC Power will provide the fuel bus for the SunLine and AC Transit buses,” he said. “New Flyer Industries will develop a purpose-built bus specifically designed for fuel cell applications for the SunLine project.”

In addition to the funding provided for the AC Transit and SunLine projects, the FTA is providing $5.35 million for the development of a battery-based fuel cell hybrid bus with the San Francisco Municipal Railways (Muni). BAE Systems will provide the hybrid propulsion system and do the systems integration on the bus.