Hydrogen-powered bus comes to Cleveland

Hydrogen-powered bus comes to Cleveland

January 23, 2013 0 By Tami Hood

Hydrogen-powered bus

RTA and NASA bring hydrogen-powered bus to Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland’s Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has joined forces with the NASA Glenn Research Center to begin making use of a new hydrogen-powered bus that will serve the greater Cleveland area. The 40-foot bus is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell that generates enough energy to power the bus along its travels. It is one of the very few of its kind in the U.S. and has the support of the federal government through NASA. The bus is part of a program designed to prove the viability of hydrogen fuel cells in public transportation.

Bus may establish foothold for fuel cells in Ohio

The hydrogen-powered bus produced no emissions and can operate longer than conventional buses that the RTA operates. The RTA notes that its partnership with NASA has enabled the agency to bring hydrogen fuel cells to the public transportation system of Cleveland. It has also opened up a new avenue for fuel cells to establish a foothold in Ohio.

United Technologies provides bus free of charge

The RTA is able to operate the bus for up to a year, as it is a no-cost loaner from United Technologies, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells. United Technologies is working with the Federal Transit Administration in several parts of the U.S. to test the viability and performance of hydrogen-powered transportation. A hydrogen-powered bus costs significantly more than traditional buses, but they are typically less expensive to keep fueled. The federal government has been keen to determine just how much the efficiency of a hydrogen-powered bus can make up for their cost.

Hydrogen becoming more popular for public transit

Hydrogen fuel cells are becoming more popular in the U.S. despite their high cost. Indeed, the energy systems have garnered a great deal of attention from the transportation sector all over the world. Several countries are investing in the use of hydrogen fuel cells in various public transportation initiatives. The U.S. has been slow to warm to the idea of using fuel cells for public transit, but that may change as the government begins to see the merits of a hydrogen-powered bus.