Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hydrogen bus fleet to debut in Whistler

globeandmail.com: Hydrogen bus fleet to debut in Whistler

In time for the Olympics, BC is going to have Hydrogen fuel cell buses as the majority of their fleet in Whistler.

By 2009 in Whistler, you should be able to hop on a whisper-quiet hydrogen-powered bus that leaves nothing in its wake but water vapour.

That's pretty good to cut down on fuel emissions. Heat and water vapour, that's it. Pretty cool. But I'm wondering about safety...

Common concerns about the technology are cost and safety issues around hydrogen fuel storage and handling. The March report for Alameda-Contra Costa Transit found there had been no safety incidents since the buses were deployed in 2000. But several minor operating issues cropped up: fuel-cell buses were “significantly taller” than the diesel fleet, resulting in more need for tree trimming.

Well, if they say it's safe, then it must be. I wonder if they're going to name the first one Hindenburg?

Comments on "Hydrogen bus fleet to debut in Whistler"

 

Anonymous Marina said ... (May 02, 2007 3:40 AM) : 

For a year they've been testing various different fuel type buses around Vancouver and I'm actually surprised they've gone with the Hydrogen bus. I thought the biodiesel option was a good one as well.

 

Blogger Eaglewing said ... (May 02, 2007 4:44 AM) : 

Well anything's got to be better for the environment than some of those old diesel ones most cities have chugging around. I'd still be leery of the safety of anything Hydrogen.

 

Anonymous originallru said ... (May 02, 2007 11:55 PM) : 

I'm starting to get leery of biodiesel as well. It seems like it is putting too much pressure on agriculture, to produce energy on top of food. It doesn't sit well with me to see the potential of people fighting over whether to put this cob of corn into their stomach or their gas tank.

It seemed like a great idea to pour the waste oil from restaurant fast food into your gas tank and drive around on that (ok, it wasn't quite that direct, but close). But growing crops specifically for fuel seems like we're redirecting the hungry beast of energy consumption from fossil fuels to our own dinner table. Who wins if global warming makes it harder to grow crops? The person who pays the most? Ouch.

Maybe I'm just paranoid. :-)

All reports I've heard is that hydrogen is safe, but both hydrogen and biodiesel need energy themselves to be produced. It doesn't seem as green as solar or wind, but I suppose it is greener than oil.

 

Blogger Eaglewing said ... (May 03, 2007 1:56 AM) : 

Interesting way to look at it. Sounds like robbing peter to pay paul kind of deal. Not to mention with all the sprawling suburbs, where are they going to grow the crops to provide the fuel to drive the tractors to harvest the crops to make the fuel?

 

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