Thousand Palms, California – A fuel cell-powered city bus is under development and is scheduled to be delivered to a Southern California transit agency in late 2011.

BAE Systems, which produces hybrid electric propulsion systems for transit buses, is helping to developing the fuel cell bus, which will operate in a project to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of fuel cell technology. The project is funded by several agencies, including the California Air Resources Board and the Federal Transit Administration.

The bus will use a fuel cell module supplied by Ballard Power Systems as the main power plant, combined with BAE Systems propulsion and power management systems. The new vehicle is based on BAE’s HybriDrive propulsion system, used by transit agencies across Canada, the U.S. and U.K. The demonstration vehicle will use an advanced lithium-ion energy storage system that increases battery life and substantially reduces the vehicle’s weight, and will augment the fuel cell.

Connect with Autos.ca