The first hydrogen articulated buses in the US goes to… MTD. New Flyer has secured an order for two sixty-foot Xcelsior CHARGE H2, powered via Ballard Power Systems fuel cell modules. The buses will be in operation in Illinois for Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. Whose fleet is 85 per cent hybrid.

At the beginning of February 2020 a batch of New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE H2 (12-meter version) has been delivered to Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) in Santa Ana, California, following the order signed in early 2018. The vehicle was announced to have completed Altoona Test in March 2019. Also the largest US hydrogen fueling station for public transport was presented.

hydrogen buses mtd

MTD, 85 % of the fleet is hybrid

MTD is the first in the nation to commercially order 60’ zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell buses. The purchase, supported by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), continues to support MTD’s 2014 strategic plan which includes a goal to deliver high quality traditional and innovative transportation services that are safe, reliable, environmentally responsible, and user friendly. Since 1993, New Flyer has delivered 175 buses to MTD, and today its fleet is 85% hybrid.

MTD is the public transportation provider in the Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy regions of Illinois, also serving the University of Illinois. It delivers nearly 12 million rides per year through a full range of mobility services including bus service.

MTD hydrogen buses, 1,100 kWh on board

The Xcelsior CHARGE H2 by New Flyer is manufactured in forty and sixty-foot lengths (12 and 18 meter respectively). Built on the Xcelsior platform, it utilizes the same electric propulsion system as the Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric bus, featuring Siemens and ZF components (Siemens ELFA2 or ZF AxTrax can be chosen for the driveline, it wasn’t specified which is the driveline of the buses for MTD). On the articulated New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE H2 the equivalent as 1,100 kWh of energy is stored.

Hydrogen buses for MTD

The Xcelsior CHARGE H2 bus is a battery-electric vehicle using compressed hydrogen as an energy source, as well as Ballard Power Systems fuel cell technology. Fuel cell electric technology complements battery-electric propulsion with the ability to provide extended range of fully zero-emissions operations.

“New Flyer congratulates MTD on this milestone accomplishment in America’s zero-emission adoption, with the first commercial order of sixty-foot fuel cell-electric buses,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer. “Since 1993, we have worked closely alongside MTD to transform mobility in the Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy regions with innovative, fully accessible, and more sustainable transit. Today, we celebrate another accomplishment in a longstanding partnership that is pioneering a zero-emission future powered by fuel-cell electric propulsion.”

“We’re proud to rely on New Flyer through the continued evolution of the MTD fleet,” said Karl Gnadt, Managing Director of MTD. “For years we have counted on New Flyer buses for safe, reliable, and efficient transportation, and our future with zero-emission Xcelsior CHARGE H2 buses will bring cleaner air, quiet transportation, and healthier environments to our community. Together, we are truly leading the way to greater mobility.”