Philadelphia SEPTA’s board approved a contract for the purchase of 10 fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs), made in the U.S. by New Flyer of America. The purchase will allow SEPTA to evaluate this technology as the authority develops plans for a zero-emission bus fleet.
FCEBs are powered by electricity derived from hydrogen fuel cells, resulting in zero tailpipe emissions and improved air quality for riders, neighbors, and communities. Hydrogen buses offer similar range and performance as diesel-hybrid buses with quieter operation, lower maintenance costs, and less than half the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
At a cost of $17,051,216.78, the contract includes delivery of 10, 40-foot low floor fuel cell electric buses, fueling infrastructure, training aids, and tools and equipment. The cost is partially subsidized with a $1.5 million Low to No Emission Vehicle Deployment program (LoNo) grant from Federal Transit Administration. The new vehicles are expected to be implemented by summer 2024.
“As part of our strategic plan, SEPTA Forward, we are embracing new technologies that will help us reduce emissions for the communities that we serve,” said SEPTA GM/CEO Leslie S. Richards. “We are excited to move forward with this purchase and the evaluation of FCEBs as we advance our Zero Emission Bus Fleet initiative.”
SEPTA is exploring the new FCEBs for operation across the entire bus network. The 10 vehicles will operate out of the Midvale District, which is SEPTA’s largest bus depot. These will be added to one of the cleanest bus fleets in the nation, as over 90% of SEPTA’s current buses are electric-diesel hybrids.
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