NFI Group Inc.’s New Flyer of America Inc. subsidiary has received a new contract from Foothill Transit for 20 zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell-electric Xcelsior CHARGE H2 40-foot, heavy-duty transit buses. This order is supported by Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds.
Foothill Transit is based in West Covina, Calif., operating one of the largest fleets of electric buses in America and providing over 14 million trips annually in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. Foothill Transit is a leader in deploying zero-emission bus (ZEB) technology in the U.S. – it was the first in the country to put battery-electric buses on the road and was the first bus-only public transit system in North America to reach the American Public Transportation Association’s Platinum Level for its significant sustainability achievements.
“Foothill Transit is a leader in the adoption and deployment of electric mass mobility,” says Paul Soubry, president and CEO of NFI. “This order demonstrates that there is no ‘one size fits all’ for electrification, and that operators require a range of bus sizes and propulsion systems to optimize their service offering. Since 2004, NFI has supported the agency’s progressive sustainability goals with nearly 380 low-emission, compressed natural gas buses delivered, and, more recently, two Alexander Dennis E500 battery-electric double deck buses.”
“We were excited to be the first grid-powered battery electric bus pioneer and have continued our zero emissions evolution with the first battery electric Alexander Dennis double deck bus launch earlier this year,” states Doran Barnes, CEO of Foothill Transit. “Our path to a fully zero-emission fleet continues with the addition of NFI hydrogen fuel cell technology. We envision a future where a variety of strategies work together to allow us to achieve our zero emission goals.”
The Xcelsior CHARGE H2 is a battery-electric vehicle using compressed hydrogen as an energy source and range extender, requiring only 6-20 minutes to refuel. Fuel cell-electric technology is fully zero-emission and an innovative way to obtain extended-range operation similar to existing transit vehicles. Built on New Flyer’s proven Xcelsior platform, the Xcelsior CHARGE H2 can save 85 to 135 tons of greenhouse gas per year from tailpipe emissions compared to a diesel bus.
“Our Xcelsior CHARGE H2 buses, developed by leveraging years of experience producing hydrogen fuel cell buses, are a game changer for North American operators,” states Chris Stoddart, president of North American Bus and Coach. “These buses – which can travel up to 350 miles on a single refueling – not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also deliver extended range, fast fill times, and no reduction in performance from beginning to end of life.”