NFI bags order for hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses from Foothill Transit

NFI Group said that its subsidiary — New Flyer of America bagged a new contract for 20 zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell-electric Xcelsior CHARGEH2 heavy-duty transit buses from Foothill Transit.

Funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are supporting the order, said the US-based electric mass mobility solutions provider, which is engaged in manufacturing buses and coaches.

Foothill Transit, based in West Covina in California, is an operator of electric buses, providing over 14 million trips each year in the San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valleys.

The company is claimed to be the first to introduce battery-electric buses in the US and the first bus-only public transit system to achieve the American Public Transportation Association’s Platinum Level.

NFI bags order for 20 Xcelsior CHARGEH2 heavy-duty transit buses from Foothill Transit

NFI bags order for 20 Xcelsior CHARGEH2 heavy-duty transit buses from Foothill Transit. Photo courtesy of New Flyer.

Paul Soubry — President and CEO of NFI Group said: “Foothill Transit is a leader in the adoption and deployment of electric mass mobility. 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.”

The Xcelsior CHARGE H2 battery-electric vehicle uses compressed hydrogen as an energy source as well as range extender. According to NFI Group, the heavy-duty transit bus takes only 6-20 minutes for its refueling.

The fuel cell-electric technology used in Xcelsior CHARGE H2, which is completely zero-emission, allows for extended range operation in a manner similar to existing transit vehicles.

Doran Barnes — CEO of Foothill Transit said: “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.

“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 CHARGEH2 is built on New Flyer’s Xcelsior platform. Compared to a diesel bus, it is claimed to reduce 85 to 135 tons of greenhouse gas per year from tailpipe emissions.

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