New Flyer of America, a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses and motor coaches in the United States and Canada, conducted the inaugural road demonstration of the Xcelsior XHE60 heavy-duty articulated fuel cell transit bus. Representatives from two major transit Authorities—Alameda County Transit (AC Transit) of California, and Metro Transit of Minneapolis, Minnesota—participated in the vehicle’s debut and demonstration.
Based on its Buy America compliant and proven Xcelsior X60 heavy-duty transit bus platform, New Flyer partnered with Ballard Power Systems Inc. and Siemens to develop the propulsion system. The bus will be operated in revenue service by AC Transit for 22 months following the completion of a comprehensive evaluation at the FTA’s Altoona test facility.
Following this, New Flyer intends to offer these hydrogen fuel cell-electric 60-foot buses to customers throughout the United States and Canada.
The propulsion system includes a combination of batteries, a fuel cell, and hydrogen storage that allows the fuel cell to operate at a relative steady-state, while the batteries capture both braking energy and provide power for bus acceleration. The bus is targeted to have a range greater than 250 miles without refueling or recharging.
Ballard Power Systems is supplying its next-generation fuel cell power plant that is smaller, lighter and less expensive than existing models. Vanner is providing two DC to DC Converters for 24VDC.
New Flyer is the sub-recipient of a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Grant administered by CALSTART, a non-profit organization that is focuses on clean air technology commercialization with business, fleets, and government. The FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program is a cooperative initiative between government and industry to advance the commercialization of fuel cell technology in US transit buses. The goals of the program include facilitating the development of commercially viable fuel cell bus technologies, improving transit bus efficiency and reducing petroleum consumption, and reducing transit bus emissions.