“There are fuel-cell buses around the world,” he said. “But ours is different in that everyone else uses large fuel cells with a limited amount of energy. We have a large battery that allows us to use a much smaller fuel cell, which will cost millions of dollars less than a regular fuel-cell bus.”
The cities of Oakland and Palm Desert use fuel-cell buses.
The hydrogen bus will not force the city to add any new routes, nor is the city planning to replace any of its old buses just yet, Ramos said. The city plans to incorporate the bus into the Burbank Bus shuttle’s five fixed routes, including the Media District, downtown and airport areas. It will be used in rotation with the city’s compressed natural gas buses.
“It’s supplementing our bus system right now,” she said. “It’s a demonstration project, and we will see how it operates. We will see if it achieves the fuel economy goals, and whether it is cost-effective to maintain.”