UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. company, has set durability records for its latest generation transit bus fuel cell system.

A PureMotion Model 120 fuel cell powerplant aboard an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) bus operating in the Greater Oakland, California, area has surpassed 7,000 hours in service with the original cell stacks and no cell replacements, and another has exceeded 6,000 hours.

Three of AC Transit’s buses are equipped with UTC Power fuel cell systems and have now traveled more than 255,000 miles, with an average fuel economy that is 65% better than the control fleet of diesel buses running the same routes and duty cycles.

Transit buses with fuel cell systems can have a major impact on greenhouse gas reduction, ranging from a 43% reduction over diesel buses if hydrogen is supplied from the reformation of natural gas, up to a 100% reduction when hydrogen is generated from on-site renewable sources like solar and wind power, UTC Power said.

This is the type of result we and our industry are looking for as we make steady progress toward proving the commercial viability of fuel cell buses for public transit. We’re looking forward to applying the success of UTC Power’s newest fuel cell systems in our new fleet of 12 next-generation buses, as they enter passenger service over the next six months.

—Jaimie Levin, AC Transit’s Director of Alternative Fuels Policy and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Program Manager