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A joint venture involving Thor Industries Inc., a major RV manufacturer, will get federal funding to develop hydrogen fuel cell-powered transit buses.

Thor and ISE Research Corp. of San Diego are involved in a joint venture called ThunderPower, which will get $740,000 in federal funds to develop a fuel cell and hybrid electric drive system for powering 30-foot E-Z Rider low-floor transit buses built by Thor’s ElDorado National subsidiary.

The goal is to place a fuel cell-powered E-Z Rider bus into trial service later this year with the SunLine Transit Agency of Thousand Palms, Calif. A commercial version is expected to become available next year.

Fuel cells create electric power by combining hydrogen and oxygen. They are non-polluting because the byproduct is water.