The bus is actually a hybrid: a plug-in electric motor will be the main source of locomotion, while the 67 HP hydrogen cells will provide back-up power. The system is similar to the way that a small gas engine provides extended cruising range to the plug-in 2010 Chevy Volt; like the Volt, the new Burbank bus will have a cruising range of about 250 miles before it needs a recharge.
The buses are made by Colorado-based Proterra (formerly Mobile Energy Solutions), who apply the same design and technology to a range of people-movers—including a futuristic-looking school bus.
Dave has contributed to Dwell since its inception. He's a CalArts dropout, a former art critic for The New Yorker, and a producer of comedies on TV. He lives in, and writes from, Los Angeles.