The city of Burbank, California has decided to throw its hat in the ring and become the latest city to test a hydrogen fuel cell transit bus. What makes this bus unique however that it is also a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle).
Some have argued that putting PHEV batteries, fuel cell and hydrogen tanks in the same vehicle simply add too much weight to be productive. But, Colorado-based bus manufacturer Proterra has found a way to shave five feet off the typical bus design by removing the diesel engine while accommodating the same passenger capacity of 37 seated and 30 standing customers.
The combined range of the PHEV and fuel cell will propel the bus around 250 miles before recharging and refueling are necessary. The Burbank fuel cell bus is also unique in that it will have quick charge capabilities, able to re-juice the transit beast in only 6 minutes, or while the bus driver is on break. There’s no word yet, however, on just how much electricity this quick charge feature will suck down.
The design of the bus also accounts from some of its fuel saving features that doubles the mileage of a typical diesel transit bus. Instead of stamped metal, the exterior uses sleek composite materials and a lower-profile space-age design to cut down on overall weight.
There’s also no word yet on whether or not comedian Jay Leno intends to jump on the PHEV fuel cell bus. He could take the vehicle back and forth between his gigs on the Tonight Show, based in Burbank and Jay Leno’s garage that features many alternative fuel vehicles and is powered by solar and steam energy.