Electric Fuel Corp. Obtains Funding for Phase II of Zinc-Air Electric Transit Program
Electric Fuel Corp. (Iselin, NJ) has announced that the US Federal Transit Administration has approved and agreed to fund 50 percent of the costs, up to a total program cost of $2.72 million, connected with Phase II of the company's Zinc-Air Electric Transit Bus Program. The cooperative agreement provides funding for Electric Fuel, the Regional Transportation Commission of Clark County, Nevada, and GE Corporate Research & Development to continue efforts to evaluate the performance of zinc-air battery propulsion systems for transit buses.
The Phase II effort will focus on conducting evaluations of the system and vehicle performance, including track testing and limited on-road demonstrations; enhancing the all-electric propulsion system developed in Phase I, including incorporating
ultracapacitors and associated interface controls; and testing and evaluating the zinc-air battery system. Electric Fuel will be the principal consortium partner, with overall technical and administrative responsibility for Phase II. The primary responsibilities of GE Corporate Research & Development, a partner in the Phase II effort, relate to the modification of the energy management system. RTC, also a partner in Phase II, continues its role in leading the project's peer review committee, and in arranging the demonstration drives in Clark County, Nevada.
“Mass transit by bus is a particularly appropriate application for our zinc-air technology because of the poor emissions performance of diesel engine buses and because transit buses must operate for long shifts on a single battery charge," said Yehuda Harats, President and CEO of Electric Fuel. “During the course of the Phase II testing, we expect to be able to demonstrate that our zinc-air fuel cell technology can run a bus at the performance level required by the operators of metropolitan transit authorities, while contributing in a serious way to the improvement of urban air quality."