New Flyer of America Inc., a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., announced that the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a $2.1 million grant to conduct an advanced demonstration project involving a New Flyer Xcelsior® electric transit bus with a Hydrogenics CelerityPlus fuel cell. A notice of the proposed award was initially announced in April 2015.
The purpose of the CEC-approved Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) is to encourage demonstration of advanced technologies and help develop commercial vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, displace petroleum fuel demand, stimulate economic development and enhance market acceptance that will lead to commercial production.
Similar to the commercially available zero-emission New Flyer Xcelsior battery-electric buses, the hydrogen fuel-cell demonstration bus will use a Siemens ELFA® electric drive motor for propulsion. However, instead of storing electricity delivered from the power grid in battery packs on the bus, fuel cells use hydrogen gas and air to produce electricity directly on-board the bus. With water vapor as the only by-product and with no tail pipe emissions, a New Flyer Xcelsior fuel-cell bus can reduce an estimated 115 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
With the fuel cell on board, the bus has the ability to yield operating ranges longer than pure battery-electric buses, plus hydrogen fuel tanks on the bus can be refilled in less time than recharging batteries from plug-in electric chargers.