"This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the objective of this report."

Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Information Sharing and Technology Transfer Program


Final Report

 Final Report 

2nd International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop 

Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Information Sharing and Technology Transfer Program 

Project Number DC-26-7110-00 


"This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange.  The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.


The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.  Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the objective of this report."


January 25, 2005


Electric Drive Transportation Association

1350 I Street, N.W.

Suite 1050

Washington, D.C.  20005


Executive Summary


The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the European Commission and the PREMIA Consortium conducted the 2nd International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop on November 18-20, 2004 in Porto, Portugal.  This workshop was an expansion of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Information Sharing and Technology Transfer Program that EDTA, EPRI and CARTA initiated with the FTA in 2000.  To ensure greater attendance at the workshop by both the domestic and international fuel cell bus community, the workshop was held in conjunction with the quarterly meeting of the Clean Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) fuel cell bus program.  At total of 72 individuals, representing 5 continents, attended the workshop.  These individuals represented transit authorities, bus manufacturers, component suppliers, federal, state and local government officials, and others with an interest in fuel cell bus activities.


The purpose of the workshop was threefold: 

  1. to share information about international fuel cell bus demonstration projects;

  2. to discuss the formation of an international data collection program specific to fuel cell buses and supporting infrastructure; and,

  3. to institute an International Fuel Cell Working Group that would collaborate on efforts that can be undertaken to ensure the worldwide success of fuel cell electric bus technology.

Workshop attendees received presentations on international fuel cell bus demonstration projects underway in the, Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, and the United States.  They also learned about activities underway by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States, and the PREMIA Consortium in Europe to collect non-proprietary data on fuel cell buses.


The group also engaged in a dialogue discussion about the types of data that would be collected worldwide on fuel cell buses, and discussed the organization and structure of an International Fuel Cell Working Group.


EDTA offered workshop participants the opportunity to visit the Porto Bus Company's hydrogen refueling station, and to ride on one of their three fuel cell buses, which are a part of the CUTE program.  Approximately 30 workshop attendees took part in the site visit.


The workshop attendees also were treated to a reception at the Meridien Hotel as a mechanism to network with one another and to share information, informally, about fuel cell bus activities. 


Based on the completed evaluation forms received from the workshop attendees, the feedback from the workshop was very positive.  In particular, workshop attendees appreciated the networking opportunity, the presentations from the international fuel cell bus community, and sharing information between all the workshop attendees.  


Event:                          2nd International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop


Location:                      Le Meridien Hotel

                                    Porto, Portugal


Date:                            Thursday, November 18 - Saturday, November 20, 2004


Purpose:                      The purpose of the workshop was to share information on the status and prospects for the commercialization of fuel cell buses, develop plans for an international data collection program, and continue the discussion about the establishment of an international fuel cell bus working group to collaborate and coordinate on the development of future fuel cell buses.



Attendees:                    72 individuals registered for the International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop.  Approximately 571 individuals were invited to participate in the event.  Invitees were selected from the EDTA Bus database, and also included the EPRI Electric Bus Users Group, the APTA Clean Propulsion and Support Technology Committee, and individuals identified throughout the international community that are involved in fuel cell bus demonstrations.  (The final alphabetized participant list is enclosed for your review and information.)


Workshop Materials:    Each workshop participant received a workshop workbook, evaluation form,

final agenda and registration list.  (A copy of the International Fuel Cell Bus Workshop workbook is provided with this report.)


Logistics:                     The breakfast, breaks and lunch were provided courtesy of EDTA and the PREMIA Consortium.  EDTA and PREMIA sponsored the workshop meeting space in addition to some of the workshop workbooks.  All workshop attendees were invited to participate in a reception at in the hotel foyer that was sponsored by EDTA and PREMIA. 


Agenda:                       Presentations


The moderator for the morning session, Iigo Sabater of the European Commission, welcomed the attendees to the workshop and thanked everyone for attending.  Mr. Sabater introduced three representatives from around the world who provided further introductory remarks.  Tiago Farias, Portuguese Hydrogen Association, Brian Wynne, Electric Drive Transportation Association, and Jiro Nagao, Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also welcomed the attendees.


After brief introductory remarks, Mr. Sabater introduced the first speakers of the morning, Leslie Eudy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Luc Pelkmans, Flemish Institute of Technological Research.  Ms. Eudy and Mr. Pelkmans highlighted the need to harmonize and share non-proprietary data on the fuel cell bus demonstration projects around the world.  They also discussed the need for collaboration between the various projects


At the end of Ms. Eudy and Mr. Pelkman's remarks, Mr. Sabater introduced Shang Hsiung, Program Manager, U.S. Federal Transit Administration, to discuss the reasons that the FTA is supporting the international fuel cell bus workshop, and the goals and objectives of the two-day workshop program. He highlighted the need for consensus on a data collection framework that can be agreed upon by the participants of the bus workshop and the projects they represent.  Mr. Hsiung noted that there would be a more involved discussion on data collection during the afternoon session of the workshop. 


Mr. Sabater introduced the next segment of the agenda, which focused on the various fuel cell bus demonstrations around the world.  He then introduced Manfred Schuckert, EvoBus, to discuss his company's participation in various fuel cell bus projects throughout the world. 


At the conclusion of Mr. Schuckert's remarks, Mr. Sabater introduced Michael Faltenbacher, University of Stuttgart, to present an overview of the Clean Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) program.  Mr. Faltenbacher provided an overview of the European Union's CUTE fuel cell bus project, highlighted the cities that are participating in the project, and the types of buses and supporting infrastructure that are currently involved in the demonstration program.


Jon Bjorn Skulason, Icelandic New Energy, presented an overview of the Icelandic fuel cell bus trial currently running in Reykjavk.  He highlighted the history of the project, including an accident that occurred at the refueling station and what the company did to resolve the issue. 


Mr. Sabater then introduced Simon Whitehouse, Western Australian Government, to discuss its fuel cell bus demonstration project which has just recently started, and will run for two years in coordination with the CUTE and STEP projects


Marcio Schettino, EMTU, discussed Brazil's interest in demonstrating the functionality and reliability of fuel cell buses and supporting infrastructure under real operating conditions in Sao Paulo.  Mr. Schettino also highlighted Brazil's concern with air pollution as the country's main interest in fuel cell buses. 


Sara Rios Donnelly, UNDP/Electric Transport Agency, Mexico, discussed the status of the fuel cell bus demonstration project in Mexico City, which has yet to begin.  Dr. Rios highlighted the government's desire to reduce green house gases (GHG) from the transportation sector as a driving force for implementing a fuel cell bus demonstration project.  


After lunch provided by EDTA and PREMIA, Mr. Sabater continued the meeting by introducing John Wallace, Chief Technical Advisor to the Chinese Fuel Cell Bus Program.  Mr. Wallace discussed the Chinese fuel cell bus program and highlighted that the program will spend $32 million over five years to showcase 12 buses. 


Mr. Sabater then introduced Ron Harmer, Vice President - Technical Services, BC Transit, to discuss Canada's interest in fuel cell buses.  Mr. Harmer noted that Canada has always been a strong advocate for fuel cells, and is currently developing one fuel cell bus to be demonstrated in Winnipeg in April 2005.  He also noted that BC Transit is very interested in learning more about the harmonizing of data collection for all fuel cell bus projects.


Lisa Callaghan, Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium (NAVC), presented an overview of past, present and future U.S. fuel cell bus demonstration projects.  Ms. Callaghan highlighted that the main objective of the U.S. projects was to conduct objective, reliable, sensible information-gathering and dissemination.  


The next segment of the workshop sought to reach consensus on a data-collection framework for fuel cell buses and their associated infrastructure.  The discussion was led by Leslie Eudy, NREL and Leen Govaerts, VITO.  Each attendee was given a handout of a draft data collection sheet prepared by NREL and was asked to comment on the specific data collection points to suggest adding or removing sections of the draft.


Some of the questions and concerns raised during the discussion included:


  • How and the stakeholders establish a mechanism for collecting and sharing the data?

  • Who will do the additional work of collecting the data?  Project partners in the CUTE demonstration are already pressed for time. Additional input for this collaboration would put an extra burden on each site. One suggestion was to use data already collected as a part of the current effort. It was noted that there would still be a need to have someone collect these inputs and put them in a common format. Sharing existing reports it was further noted that it might be difficult because some elements in the reports are not for publication.

  • How to define specific data collection items?  Fleets often have differing definitions for terms such as availability and road call. Coming to a consensus on these definitions would be a difficult task. One solution that was offered was to set a definition for the purpose of this collaboration and ask all to report accordingly.

  • Who will use this information?  The group is willing to share certain information on several levels. Having two levels of information was suggested: A higher level of information that can be released to the public and a lower level that could be shared within the FCB Work Group that would not be ready for public release prior to final reporting by each project team. This detailed information would include lessons learned on infrastructure, safety, operation, and performance of the buses.

  • Who needs to see this information?  The specifics need to be establish as to who should be included in the Work Group and therefore have access to lower level detailed information. A point was made that while operating agencies are eager to share specific data on the buses and their performance, the manufacturers are more reluctant.

All the participants agreed that sharing information among this group would be valuable to all. Details of the specific elements and how best to accomplish this will be worked out. At the conclusion of the discussion, Leslie and Leen noted that much of Saturday's session would be dedicated to continuing the discussion on several of these issues.


After a short break, the moderator of the afternoon session, Arnold Van Zyl, EU Car, welcomed the attendees back.  He then noted that the attendees would be hearing from representatives of the fuel cell bus industry.  Mr. Van Zyl introduced Sigeyuki Kawatsu, Toyota, to discuss their efforts in developing fuel cell buses.  Dr. Kawatsu highlighted Toyota's history in developing fuel cells, and their ongoing fuel cell bus demonstration in Tokyo


Mr. Van Zyl subsequently introduced Andre Martin, Ballard Power Systems.  Mr. Martin noted that currently over 40 buses in various projects throughout the world were using Ballard fuel cell systems, including all of the CUTE buses.  Mr. Martin also detailed what steps needed to be taken to commercialize fuel cell buses. 


The final speaker of the day was Michael Tosca, UTC Fuel Cells.  Mr. Tosca discussed UTC's efforts to develop fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications and highlighted their fuel cell bus project currently underway in California. 


At the conclusion of Mr. Tosca's remarks, Mr. Van Zyl thanked the attendees for their participation and adjourned the workshop until the following morning.


Brian Wynne, President, Electric Drive Transportation Association, moderated the final day of the workshop.  Mr. Wynne introduced Panayotis Christidis, European Commission and Shang Hsiung, U.S. Federal Transit Administration to discuss their perspectives on collaboration of future plans to promote research and development of fuel cell buses.  Both speakers stressed the need to develop a defined set of data collection points that could be shared by various projects around the world as an essential step toward the commercialization of fuel cell buses.


This discussion led into the next session which was dedicated to establishing a fuel cell bus working group.  This discussion was led by Lisa Callaghan, NAVC.  Ms. Callaghan discussed the proposed development of a working group and asked the attendees for their comments.  The attendees generally were receptive to the idea but strongly suggested that the group not be too large, as it would be difficult to reach consensus on a data collection framework.  It was decided that a small group would work on the issues of data collection and report back to the workshop attendees.  The smaller group (consisting of FTA, NAVC, PREMIA and NREL) agreed to develop a data collection template using the suggestions of the workshop attendees and will report back to the group in February 2005.  The small group will also develop a plan for formation of an International Fuel Cell Bus Working Group. The proposal will include details on how the group would be formed, who should be included, how activities would be selected and how the tasks could be accomplished.


Mr. Wynne then led a wrap up session in which the results of the workshop were specifically outlined by objective.


  1. Enhance the sharing of information about the status of fuel cell bus demonstrations worldwide.


The Work Committee will refine the draft template for basic information on the status of fuel cell bus demonstrations.  Work committee will review database concept developed by Gothenborg University.


  1. Harmonize data collection and evaluation plans across fuel cell bus demonstrations to maximize the learning possible.


By December 1, a refined data collection for the "fixed" elements will be sent to the work committee for comment by January 5.


By January 14, final data collection for the "fixed" elements will be sent to the broad working group.


March 1, 2005, data from fuel cell bus demonstration projects to be submitted to VITO.


By April 15, summary information from the data collection will be sent to those demonstrations that supplied data.


  1. Investigate the coordination and collaboration of the demonstrations.


Work committee to strategize on steps forward.


Strategize with IPHE on how to use their structure to advance collaboration.


Mr. Wynne concluded the workshop by thanking all the speakers, participants and sponsors and indicating that a workshop report and all available speaker Powerpoint presentations would be made available on the "Bus Stop" section of EDTA's website (www.electricdrive.org).

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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