A new coalition of public transit agencies, manufacturers and suppliers has formed to advance the hydrogen fuel cell electric bus economy and its applications in the public transit sector.
The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Council (HFC Bus Council) launch comes at a time of historic levels of investment in public transit, alongside nationwide commitments to transition fleets to zero-emission propulsion.
“I’m proud to be serving on the founding board of this organization, working to educate government officials and my colleagues in the transit industry on the viable and scalable zero emission solution that is hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Karl Gnadt, HFC Bus Council Board president and managing director/CEO of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD).
Mass Transit reported on MTD’s introduction of its zero-emission fleet technology to the industry last fall, which includes a 100 percent renewable hydrogen production station, as well as the nation’s first commercial deployment of 60-foot articulated hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.
The mission of the HFC Bus Council is to educate policymakers, regulators and transportation stakeholders on the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses and related infrastructure. Through effective education and advocacy, the HFC Bus Council will expand the development, deployment and utilization of safe, clean and efficient hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, and create additional market opportunities to advance hydrogen fuel cell technology in the delivery of public transit services.
The HFC Bus Council members share in the commitment to advance an environment that supports investments in and the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric bus technology. Founding members include MTD, SunLine Transit Agency, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), Foothill Transit, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Utah Transit Authority, Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo), Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid), Intercity Transit, Sangamon Mass Transit District, Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, NFI Group, ENC, Hexagon Purus, Trillium Energy Solutions, Ivys Energy Solutions, Ballard and Nel Hydrogen.
HFC Bus Council members have been at the forefront of implementing hydrogen fuel cell bus technology. Among the accomplishments marked in 2021 include Foothill Transit establishing the largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses in North America; SunLine welcoming five new hydrogen fuel cell buses into its fleet, as well as its partnership with SoCalGas on a three-year demonstration project to improve the competitiveness of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; and SARTA’s continued success of its borrow-a-bus program.
“Fuel cell technology is a proven path to extended-range zero-emission mobility, and we are on the cusp accelerating its deployment and delivering immediate greenhouse gas reduction, cleaner air, and quiet transportation,” said Paul Soubry, president and CEO, NFI. “Through leveraging a public-private approach, the HFC Bus Council brings the best of all worlds together in educating stakeholders on fuel cell technology, advocating for funding, and sharing key learnings from deployments across America. NFI has been a fuel cell leader for over a decade, and the more momentum we build together, the healthier our communities are.”