Fuel cell buses from New Flyer successfully complete rigorous testingFebruary 20, 2019
New Flyer’s fuel cell electric buses are available for commercial sale.
New Flyer Industries Canada ULC and New Flyer of America Inc. (collective known as “New Flyer”), fuel cell buses have completed rigorous testing at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center under a program established by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). These fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) are commercially available for sale using FTA funding.
The 40-foot and 60-foot Xcelsior FCEBs are powered by Ballard FCveloCity-HD modules.
Canada-based Ballard Power System, which is a developer and manufacturer of proton exchange membrane fuel cell products, supplies the power behind the fuel cell buses. The Xcelsior FCEBs are powered by Ballard FCveloCity-HD 85 killowatt modules.
There are two models of New Flyer’s FCEBs: a 40-foot sized model and a 60-foot size model. Both models are eligible for California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emissions Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).
The HIVP is part of a statewide program known as California Climate Investments. The program invests billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves public health and the environment and strengthens the economy, especially in disadvantaged communities.
The present $300,000 HIVP incentive covers 40-foot transit buses and Class 8 trucks that are powered only by hydrogen fuel cells. Both of these funding opportunities provide transit agencies with the support needed to transition to zero-emission operations.
The fuel cell buses offer important advantages to battery-electric alternatives.
For starters, with the addition of fuel cell power, this extends the bus range in excess of 260 miles, helping to decrease EV driver range anxiety. Furthermore, these buses can be rapidly refueled in less than 10 minutes, offer full route flexibility, and are 95% material recycling.
“New Flyer, along with many major automotive manufacturers, strongly believes that hydrogen and fuel cell technology remains a viable complementary electric propulsion option for clean cities with extended range operations,” stated Chris Stoddart, President of New Flyer, in a Ballard press release. “We celebrate this important milestone in deploying zero-emission bus propulsion technology on a proven, safe, and reliable bus platform.
Ballard’s FCveloCity-HD module reportedly offers a one-to-one replacement for diesel and CNG buses, with zero compromise in regard to service and no road-side recharging infrastructure.
The rigorous testing New Flyer’s fuel cell buses underwent included evaluations of safety, reliability, structural integrity, performance, noise, braking, maintainability and fuel economy.