The Aluminium Revolutionary Chassis Company (ARCC), a developer and manufacturer of Australia’s first lightweight bolted aluminum city bus chassis, is partnering with Loop Energy™ , a designer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cell solutions, to bring the first hydrogen-electric bus to the Australian market.
ARCC is Loop Energy’s first Australian customer and the collaboration underlines the country’s growing interest in utilizing hydrogen-electric vehicles to achieve its emissions reduction targets.
Loop Energy’s T600 (60 kW) fuel cell module will be integrated into ARCC’s 12.5-m Viking Hydrolight city bus model, which aims to be in service by 2023. Designed for city bus operations in Australia, it will be built around ARCC’s distinctive lightweight chassis, which uses an aluminum frame and is primarily bolted, with less than 5% weld parts. Combined with the increased fuel efficiency of Loop Energy’s eFlow™ technology, the lighter bus weight will reduce fuel consumption while allowing for greater passenger capacity compared to other electric buses on the market.
“The electric bus market is quickly emerging as an important market segment for fuel cells. We are very proud that we have continued to grow our footprint in this sector in Europe, China, Asia, and now in Australia,” said George Rubin, Loop Energy’s chief commercial officer. “We view the partnership with ARCC as a positive step to continuing our inroads into the electric bus market and supporting the development of next-generation bus platforms globally.”
ARCC currently has a hydrogen-electric bus participating in a New South Wales state government led trial to help inform how hydrogen technologies may factor into a broader rollout of zero-emissions buses. In 2019, Australia launched its National Hydrogen Strategy, underpinning its intent to become a major global player in hydrogen by 2030. The New South Wales and Queensland governments have committed to scaling the production of Green Hydrogen and launching over 10,000 hydrogen-electric vehicles collectively.
“ARCC is proud to manufacture the only zero-emissions bus designed with a full-length aluminum chassis in Australia,” said Peter Murley, ARCC Managing Director. “We are excited to have Loop Energy’s eFlow™ technology play an important role in powering the Viking Hydrolight bus.”
Loop Energy and ARCC aim to unveil the first fuel cell bus at the Australia Bus & Coach Expo in October 2022. The partnership will also see the two companies develop strategies to position Viking Hydrolight buses as a sustainable and efficient solution for transit operators in Australia and worldwide.
ARCC’s motivation is a commitment to the development of Australian designed and built zero emission mobility solutions. Specifically, ARCC was developed by a team of likeminded individuals from the Australian bus industry, with both local and international experience in all facets of bus manufacturing, who aim to support local industry and operators with socially responsible engineering.
Loop Energy is a designer and manufacturer of fuel cell systems targeted for the electrification of commercial vehicles, including light commercial vehicles, transit buses, and medium and heavy-duty trucks. Loop’s products feature the company’s proprietary eFlow technology in the fuel cell stack’s bipolar plates, which is designed to enable commercial customers to achieve performance maximization and cost minimization. Loop works with OEMs and major vehicle sub-system suppliers to enable the production of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.