The H-Bus Comes To...Burbank?

January 12, 2009

Burbank, California has been the butt of many a joke, but its public transportation is no laughing matter. This spring, the city will lift the veil on a fleet of new, hydrogen-cell buses from Proterra, making Burbank one of the first MTA systems on the West Coast to test drive this promising technology.

The HFC35 Hybrid-Electric Transit Bus is a plug-in hybrid model, powered primarily via an electric motor, with a hydrogen fuel cell system for extended range. Among the more interesting claims from the manufacturer:

  • The bus can go 250 miles before needing a recharge.
  • Proterra's fast-charge battery system canĀ  fully recharge the battery in six minutes.
  • It has zero emissions and 90% regenerative braking recapture.
  • Its low center of gravity and glassy design improve safety and functionality.

All that sounds very promising, and I'll be anxious to see how it functions on the streets. If the HFC35 can find a way to avoid traffic jams, that's more than enough reason to start taking the bus again.
--Richard Read

[BurbankBus via Dwell]

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