Joining us in California is Michael Hursh, General Manager at AC Transit, so we caught up with him ahead of the event to find out more about what we can expect from his presentation.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to H2 View today. Firstly, for readers who may not be familiar with AC Transit, can you tell us more about the agency and how it got into the hydrogen space?
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) is an innovative, modern bus system owned by the public in the Eastern half of the San Francisco Bay. Our family tree dates back to 1869 when America’s two coasts were joined by transcontinental rail.
In that year, AC Transit’s first predecessor began carrying passengers from the foot of Broadway through burgeoning Oakland in a horse-drawn rail car.In November 1956, citizens voted to establish the Alameda Contra Costa Transit District.
Today we are the third largest transit system in the Bay Area, operating a fleet of more than 635 buses, transporting more than 100,000 daily riders.
Michael, you’re speaking at H2 View’s North American Hydrogen Summit 2022 in the Fuelling the Mobility Market session. Can you give us a tease of what you’ll be discussing here?
California has adopted an unfunded mandate to replace the entire transit bus internal combustion fleet with zero emission buses (ZEB) by 2040. My presentation talks about the various ZEB technologies and how we are leading the way to beat the 2040 deadline.
I will expand on how we are conducting a peer-reviewed study comparing different propulsion technologies, providing real-world data on reliability, range, operating costs, and the challenges of scaling up to meet the 2040 deadline.
Can you tell us more about AC Transit’s role in the North American hydrogen mobility market and some exciting projects the company is currently working on?
We operate the largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses in the world. We have been a leader in advancing zero-emission technology since 2000. We operate two hydrogen fuelling stations and 36 fuel cell buses, with another 34 on order. We recently expanded fuelling capacity to meet the scalability challenge.
What do you believe is the biggest driver for hydrogen mobility in the North American market right now?
Hydrogen fuel cell technology powering transit buses is the only zero-emission solution that meets the demand for the public transit environment’s range, service times, and reliability.
Hydrogen technology offers a level of insurance against our unstable electric grids, proving to be a significant vulnerability when deploying battery electric buses at scale.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to when we do touch down in San Francisco in July?
As a resident of the Bay Area, I am looking forward to welcoming visitors to our vibrant and dynamic communities. I’m looking forward to sharing time with my peers and learning about new technology, new challenges, and new solutions as we work together to make our planet more sustainable.
North American Hydrogen Summit
H2 View is taking its events platform to America’s original clean hydrogen hub of California. Together with the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), we will stage our North American Hydrogen Summit in San Francisco on July 14-15.
As our summit theme Building Bridges: Hydrogen hubs and investment suggests, the event will explore the $8bn of funding announced to create at least four regional hydrogen hubs in the US. These hubs will turbo-charge the nation’s progress toward heavy trucking and industrial sectors that run without producing carbon pollution – and they may just provide the path forward to a hydrogen-fuelled future.
With California and Texas vying to be America’s hydrogen capital today, where are the hubs of tomorrow? Further still, what can other states, and countries, learn from California’s success story? And how can we build bridges to a successful flow of international investment?
If you are a member of the CaFCP, be sure to grab your ticket at a discounted rate with a code that can be provided to you by the events team.
Full information about this event including attendance and sponsorship packages can be found here.