Niskayuna, New York [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] GE announced a $13 million research partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, Ballard Power Systems and A123 Systems to develop a lightweight, battery-dominant, zero-emissions hybrid fuel-cell bus. The research will be led by GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, where research on hybrid vehicles is already under way.The focus of the research partnership will be to reduce fuel cell power requirements and improve energy storage technologies, which would help to increase the commercial viability of the technology. It is expected that the hybrid fuel cell bus will be completely emissions-free, have a range of 200 miles with accessories operating, and an improved fuel cell life and cost. Hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles offer a viable solution for zero-emission transit bus operation. Both are in use today, but come with high expense, complex infrastructures, and range limitations. GE’s research effort will be aimed at reducing these costs to affordable levels. The research partnership is part of $49 million in funding announced last week by U.S. Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson under its hydrogen fuel cell bus research and development program. GE Global Research, and its industrial partners, will contribute approximately half of the $13 million in funding for the project. The Federal Transit Administration, through the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, will fund the other half.