Local officials gathered at SunLine Transit Agency’s Indio facility to celebrate the installation of a new liquid hydrogen pump that will allow the agency to fuel its fuel cell bus fleet with hydrogen through this new mobile solution.
A number of key officials who advocate for clean fuels technology, including Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. CA-36, were in attendance.
Through a partnership with NICE America Research, liquid H2 pump technology and a mobile refueling system is being piloted to offer hydrogen stations in the form of a mobile trailer — allowing use without a permanent station structure.
“SunLine has been a pioneer in alternative fuels for the past three decades, and the liquid hydrogen pump commemorated today is just another example of the Agency’s commitment to our community and our environment,” said Lauren Skiver, CEO/General Manager of SunLine Transit Agency. “It’s scalable deployment strategies such as this that are pivotal in charting the Coachella Valley’s future development as a hydrogen corridor.”
The event featured the unveiling of a bus wrapped with the GoHuman community engagement campaign, launched through a partnership between SunLine and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). A total of three hydrogen fuel cell buses are now sporting new bus wraps to promote the campaign, which is aimed at reducing traffic collisions and encouraging people to take advantage of alternative modes of transportation.
The capability of fueling hydrogen fuel cell buses in SunLine’s clean fuels fleet at its Indio facility is key to the agency’s operational goal of converting all vehicles to zero-emissions by 2035 — five years ahead of the deadline set by state mandates. One fuel cell bus can save hundreds of tons of greenhouse gases each year, which is equivalent to taking 29 cars off the road or planting 5,600 trees.
“I fully support SunLine’s mission to achieve a zero-emission future, and today represents a great step forward in that goal,” said Ruiz. “SunLine’s visionary leadership has put our region on the map for innovation in hydrogen fuel technology. Now with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s bold investments in transportation, we will build on today’s success and cement the Coachella Valley as the hydrogen hub for the nation.”
With zero tailpipe emissions generated by a hydrogen fuel cell bus, transit services are delivered to the community maintaining a clean environment.
“This is a very exciting day for SunLine and the City of Indio — which have long been dedicated to sustainability and environmental planning efforts,” said Glenn Miller, SunLine board chair and City of Indio council member.
Initiatives such as the NICE Submerged Liquid Hydrogen Pump project have allowed SunLine Transit Agency to become a testbed for hydrogen fueling infrastructure, fuel cell technology development and commercial operation of fuel cell buses.