New Flyer Industries Inc. is developing the first-ever North American designed and built zero-emission 60-foot battery-electric/fuel-cell bus.

The propulsion system is being integrated into New Flyer’s Buy America compliant and proven Xcelsior® X60 heavy-duty transit bus platform that includes a combination of batteries, a fuel cell and hydrogen storage. The electric drive bus will allow the fuel cell to operate at a relative steady-state, while the batteries will be able to both capture breaking energy and provide power for acceleration.

New Flyer has partnered with Ballard Power Systems Inc. and Siemens on a bus that will be operated by Connecticut Transit (CTTransit) for 22 months of in-revenue-service operations. Ballard will supply a next-generation fuel cell power plant that is smaller, lighter and lower in cost than existing models. A key step in the commercialization will be to complete a full Altoona durability and performance test as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Bus Testing Program. Upon the success of this program, New Flyer will offer this vehicle to customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

CALSTART, a member-supported organization of more than 140 firms, fleets and agencies worldwide dedicated to supporting a growing high-tech clean transportation industry, is administering the project for the FTA.

“This project is part of our technology roadmap and represents another important step for New Flyer in pursuit of durable, reliable and affordable zero-emission public transportation,” said Paul Soubry, president/CEO of New Flyer. “Over the next decade, we expect to see a continued transition from conventional propulsion towards zero-emission technologies in the heavy-duty transit market and this builds on our natural evolution from: diesel, to hybrid, to natural gas, to electric – all based on the same proven Xcelsior bus platform.”

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