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A. Wong

Study looks at cold weather effects on electric bus range

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The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) with the Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence (MHCoE), Cleveland State University (CSU), and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) have released a study evaluating the relationship between ambient temperature and fuel economy for zero-emission buses. This study builds upon previous efforts by incorporating daily-level data into the analysis, allowing the team to capture extreme temperature values that would be masked in an evaluation of monthly data.

The Study Team collected data from eight transit agencies: four that deployed hydrogen fuel cell and four that deployed battery electric buses. The results of the analysis show that the loss in range during a temperature change from 50-60°F to 22-32°F was greater for battery electric buses (37.8% decrease) than for fuel cell electric buses (23.1% decrease). Since battery electric buses typically have a smaller range than fuel cell electric buses even under optimal conditions, this is an important consideration for transit agencies that are seeking one-for-one bus replacements.
 

Source: https://www.metro-magazine.com/zero-emissions/news/736978/study-looks-at-cold-weather-effects-on-electric-bus-range

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They need to test those electric buses in Edmonton this week. Should be interesting results..

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I initially believed in the future of fuel cells. However, it's been a rocky road.  When Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) offered publicly traded stock in the U.S. during late 1990s (earlier, however, on the Toronto SE), I bought some.  I watched it skyrocket along with the tech boom (i.e. "bubble").  I eventually sold it in 2002 at a very tiny profit before it bottomed-out around 2005.  It hasn't done much since and has bled red ink for years.

This Canadian company is focusing its future on heavy duty vehicles such as buses and trucks.  However, fuel cell technology is losing ground to electric battery buses as we all know.  

I still wonder if fuel cells can overcome their inherent weaknesses and compete with battery electric buses sometime in the future.

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5 hours ago, roamer said:

I initially believed in the future of fuel cells. However, it's been a rocky road.  When Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) offered publicly traded stock in the U.S. during late 1990s (earlier, however, on the Toronto SE), I bought some.  I watched it skyrocket along with the tech boom (i.e. "bubble").  I eventually sold it in 2002 at a very tiny profit before it bottomed-out around 2005.  It hasn't done much since and has bled red ink for years.

This Canadian company is focusing its future on heavy duty vehicles such as buses and trucks.  However, fuel cell technology is losing ground to electric battery buses as we all know.  

I still wonder if fuel cells can overcome their inherent weaknesses and compete with battery electric buses sometime in the future.

Yes, it was interesting to see them make a comeback for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but that's now a decade ago, and still no real mass production.

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I think fuel cells were always a bridge toward fully battery-electric buses.  Though I think, right now, it remains to be seen if battery electric buses can fully replace their diesel counterparts.

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Ballard Power continues to work on powering buses, maybe especially coach buses that travel long highway miles. The cost of hydrogen infrastructure has been one of the big barriers-- as it was in the fuel cell buses in British Columbia.

And they haven't been able to compete very well with the battery bus revolution.

I just looked and BLDP stock has more than doubled in the last 6 months. One of their markets is buses in China--along with a few in the US (as noted in the first post in this thread).

This source shows that there are right now 42 Fuel cell buses in operation in California.

source: https://cafcp.org/by_the_numbers

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4 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

Ballard Power continues to work on powering buses, maybe especially coach buses that travel long highway miles. The cost of hydrogen infrastructure has been one of the big barriers-- as it was in the fuel cell buses in British Columbia.

And they haven't been able to compete very well with the battery bus revolution.

I just looked and BLDP stock has more than doubled in the last 6 months. One of their markets is buses in China--along with a few in the US (as noted in the first post in this thread).

This source shows that there are right now 42 Fuel cell buses in operation in California.

source: https://cafcp.org/by_the_numbers

Very interesting comments!  

And I didn't realize the recent spike in BLDP as I haven't paid much attention to it for the past decade or so.  I did read recently, however, that they are still not making a profit.

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Two points. First of all, there is one kind of electric bus whose range isn't restricted in very cold weather: the trolleybus.

As for fuel cell vehicles, I wouldn't dismiss them just yet. There's a bit of a revival of interest, certainly in Europe. For example Köln (Cologne) in Germany has had problems with battery buses running a trial on its route 133 - traffic delays causing charging backlogs and frequent need to feed in diesel bus support. So its view is more favourable to fuel cell electric buses. They have ordered 30 Van Hool fuel cell buses and nearby Wuppertal are taking a further ten. Here's a quote from the transit agency's management:

"Battery buses with depot charging still do not offer enough range, and we try to avoid building up opportunity charging infrastructure along the route because of the immense costs that would have to incur if we wanted to connect a lot of these intermediate charging stations to the general powergrid.”

Full article here:  

https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/rvk-cologne-first-new-hydrogen-buses-in-service/

Maybe people should just accept the idea that different types are suitable for different applications. 

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