Hydrogen fuel cells power hybrid bus on Vancouver’s Island

Hydrogen fuel cells power hybrid bus on Vancouver’s Island

Photo: Darren Stone, Times Colonist
Hybrid bus uses Hydrogen and battery power to travel over 480km per day in Victoria, BC Canada. Photo: Darren Stone, Times Colonist

Having grown up in Vancouver, I’ve already been accustomed to the majority of the city buses running on electricity. They tether themselves to the overhead lines and move the commuters around town. Over in Victoria, they’re testing something so much better. They’ve got the “most technologically advanced bus on the planet.”

Instead of relying on those overhead lines, the new hybrid-powered bus gets its juice from a fuel cell. The hydrogen hybrid bus, decked out in an eco-friendly green and blue paint scheme, could represent the next generation of buses for BC Transit.

The idea is that these buses will eventually replace the ones that are still running on fossil fuels. They’re not quite ready for a provincial-wide rollout just yet, as this Victoria edition is an “alpha bus,” but the working prototype is “ahead of any other buses globally.”

The hybrid powertrain is a combination of batteries that need to be recharged at night and hydrogen fuel tanks which are stored in the roof of the bus. With a full 29 kilogram load of hydrogen, the bus can travel up to 480 kilometres.  A slight step up in size from the hydrogen powered technology we’ve seen most recently.