Oct 27, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This project is for a plug-in hybrid bus with the range extender fuel coming from hydrogen. We think in the coming years biofuels will have clear well-to-wheel CO2 and efficiency advantages over hydrogen -- but it's a foot in the door for PHEVs that GE is talking about "battery-dominant" vehicles! (GE recently became an investor in A123 Systems.) For more about A123, see our link in our report on the ARB ZevTech Symposium http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/539.html.
October 23, 2006 1 GE Announces $13 Million Research Partnership to Develop a Battery Dominant, Zero Emissions Hybrid Fuel Cell Bus
GE Researchers in Niskayuna to Design, Build and Demonstrate the Bus in New York; Proposed Fuel Cell Bus Expected to Have a 200-Mile Range, Improved Fuel Cell Life GE-Ecomagination
NISKAYUNA, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE (NYSE: GE) today announced a $13 million research partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, Ballard Power Systems and A123 Systems to develop a lightweight, battery dominant zero emissions hybrid fuel cell bus. The research will be led by GE's Global Research Center in Niskayuna, where researchers can leverage a long history in hybrid vehicles and expertise in battery chemistry.
"Advancements in hybrid propulsion systems and battery chemistry offer tremendous promise for enabling cleaner, more affordable transportation alternatives that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote a cleaner, healthier environment," said Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director of GE Global Research. "At Global Research, we will be leveraging nearly three decades of experience in hybrid systems and battery chemistry research to help pave the way to commercialization.
"This project is another illustration of GE's commitment to drive and develop cleaner technology solutions in the marketplace through our company-wide ecomagination initiative," Little added.
Launched in May 2005, ecomagination is GE's company-wide initiative to aggressively develop and bring to market new technologies that help our customers meet their most pressing environmental challenges. Under the initiative, GE has pledged to more than double its level of investment in the development of cleaner energy technologies, from $700 million to $1.5 billion during the next five years.
Today's announcement was highlighted during a visit to the Research Center by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton from New York, who met with GE research officials to discuss clean energy and toured the Center's alternative energy labs in wind and solar energy.
Sen. Hillary Clinton said, "GE's Global Research Center in Niskayuna is a tremendous asset for New York and the State's burgeoning Tech Valley corridor. GE researchers are at the center of many exciting projects to promote cleaner energy alternatives. The hybrid fuel cell bus project is a great example of the important work they are doing. The project also illustrates how government and companies like GE can effectively partner together on cutting edge technology research that has a positive impact on the world."
It is expected that the hybrid fuel cell bus being designed and built will be completely emissions free, have a range of 200 miles with accessories operating, and an improved fuel cell life and cost. The focus of the research partnership will be to reduce fuel cell power requirements and improve energy storage technologies, which would help to increase the commercial viability of the technology.
Hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles offer a viable solution for zero-emission transit bus operation. Both are in use today, but come with high expense, complex infrastructures, and range limitations. GE's research effort will be aimed at reducing these costs to affordable levels.
Beyond the transit bus, the technologies developed under this project could be leveraged to support other clean energy priorities. Technology and techniques developed for the bus can be applied to uninterruptible power supplies, renewable energy production and many other applications. The energy storage components can further enable new products for emerging markets such as plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric grid management.
The research partnership is part of $49 million in funding announced last week by U.S. Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson under its hydrogen fuel cell bus research and development program. GE Global Research, and its industrial partners, will contribute approximately half of the $13 million in funding for the project. The Federal Transit Administration, through the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, will fund the other half.
About GE Global Research
GE Global Research is one of the world's most diversified industrial research organizations, providing innovative technology for all of GE's businesses. Global Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, and is now focused on developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as molecular medicine, energy conversion, nanotechnology, advanced propulsion, and security technologies. GE Global Research is headquartered in Niskayuna, New York and has facilities in Bangalore, India, Shanghai, China, and Munich, Germany. Visit GE Global Research at www.ge.com/research. Contacts
Todd Alhart, 518-387-7914