THOUSAND PALMS, Calif.- - In the coming months, SunLine's rays* will glow with a green tinge (*in this analogy, the rays are buses.) At 10:30, SunLine Transit Agency rolled out its new "Range Anxiety Free" Zero Emission Bus during a ceremony at its Thousand Palms headquarters.
A joint funding effort from the Federal Transit Administration, the California Energy Commission, and the private sector helped make the new line of battery-powered buses a reality.
"We greatly appreciate the support provided by both the Federal Transit Administration and the California Energy Commission for this project. The funding from these two agencies enabled the team to develop a new pathway for a full service zero emission bus. This bus, tested first by SunLine Transit, will provide yet another option for transit districts looking to make the shift to zero emissions," said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel.
The new model differs from its low-emission battery-powered predecessors in the hardware that's taking care of the recharging; a small hydrogen fuel cell is built in to each bus to keep the battery juiced.
"After testing numerous fuel cell technology configurations over the years, we believe we may have identified the configuration that will allow the transit and heavy duty industry to successfully deploy fuel cell technology over the next decade," said Lauren Skiver, General Manager of SunLine Transit Agency.
This hydrogen cell will be responsible for the buses' only 'emissions' in the form of discharged water. The model allows for a daily range of 250-300 miles, providing plenty of coverage for SunLine's daily routes.