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Series H: Fuel cell

BAE Systems is an innovator and leader in platform electrification. Using our proven HybriDrive® series electric propulsion system, we are advancing zero-emission bus technology. The HybriDrive propulsion system is best known for dramatically improving the efficiency and fuel economy of more than 7,000 conventional transit buses worldwide. Now a derivative of that system is being used to advance electrification in transit, producing a wide range of benefits including the electrification of vehicle accessories and enabling zero-emission buses such as hydrogen/fuel cell.

For more than 15 years, we have partnered to demonstrate and deploy fuel cell bus technology with teammates ElDorado National and Ballard Power Systems to commercialize the American Fuel Cell bus model.

Why fuel cell buses?

  • Zero emissions: Hydrogen is the sole fuel source, thus water is the sole exhaust
  • Quiet and smooth: All electric drive provides quiet operation
  • All electric accessories: Electric air conditioning, power steering, air compressor and cooling systems mean higher reliability and efficiency
  • Lightweight, nano-phosphate lithium ion battery technology provides the full benefit of hybrid electric operation
  • Production qualified systems and components: Reliable, proven commercialized technology used in more than 6,000 buses
  • Designed with the maintainer in mind: Easy access to maintenance and inspection points
  • Support: Established support network for bus, propulsion and fuel cell system
  • Buy America compliant

How does the system work?

Power is blended from the high voltage batteries and hydrogen fuel cell engine through power electronics to provide propulsion at the wheels and to energize electrified accessories. Regenerative braking is utilized to capture kinetic energy during braking and store it in the high voltage batteries. Additionally, the bus is capable of low power, short duration driving solely on the battery when the high voltage batteries have sufficient charge. This feature allows the bus to be moved at the depot without having to start the fuel cell engine.

American Fuel Cell Bus commercialization

Orange county transit authority bus

Orange County Transit Authority
Orange County, California
1 vehicle in service

University of California bus

University of Calif., Irvine
Irvine, California
1 vehicle in service

SunLine Transit bus

SunLine Transit
Thousand Palms, California
4 vehicles in service,
4 more in plan

Mass Transportation Authority bus

Mass Transit Authority (MTA)
Flint, Michigan
1 vehicle in service

Stark Area Regional Transit bus

Stark Area Regional Transit
Stark County, Ohio
2 vehicles in service
8 more in plan

Massachusetts Bay Transit bus

Massachusetts Bay Transit
Boston, Massachusetts
1 vehicle in service