Hydrogen is a universal fuel that will play a major role in our clean, sustainable energy future. Here are some ways hydrogen is already becoming a practical reality in our everyday lives...
Riding Hydrogen Buses in California
Using public transportation is a good way to reduce pollution caused by personal vehicles. In the San Francisco Bay Area, AC Transit, one of the largest public transport systems in the region, is taking that idea a step further. They're replacing some transit buses running on diesel with hybrid buses that are powered by electricity from hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.
AC Transit calls this program "Taking the HyRoad," with "Hy" referring to hydrogen and hybrid technology. Since March 2006, these new buses have transported more than 450,000 people, educating them about hydrogen and fuel cells and eliminating particulates like nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide which standard diesel buses emit. The hydrogen buses are extremely quiet, and get their power from the electricity produced by the on-board hydrogen fuel cell, as well as regenerative breaking from the hybrid propulsion system. The result is a very smooth, quiet, clean ride, especially compared to a bus with an internal combustion engine and transmission.
With cutting edge hybrid-electric technology, AC Transit’s fuel cell buses can climb hills and travel at freeway speeds, while achieving a range of 300 miles between fuelings. On average, they get 70% better fuel economy than their diesel counterparts, and in some cases their fuel economy is more than double that of a diesel bus (100%).
East Bay residents have a much easier time breathing, and inner city neighborhoods are significantly more quiet. And the public knows that their public transport system is helping to reduce the U.S. economy's dependency on foreign oil, while cutting carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
This program provides a great opportunity for the public to experience real-world applications of hydrogen and fuel cells, which today can be replicated anywhere in the world.
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