Pennsylvania to aqcuire ten fuel cell buses

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has approved a contract for the purchase of ten fuel-cell electric buses, made by New Flyer of America.

The purchase of the fuel cell buses is also designed to allow SEPTA to evaluate the technology as the Authority develops plans for a zero-emission bus fleet. The contract includes the delivery of ten 40-foot low-floor fuel cell electric buses, fueling infrastructure, training aids, and tools and equipment. The new vehicles are expected to be implemented by the summer of 2024.

At this stage, already over 90% of SEPTA’s current buses are electric-diesel hybrids, and the company is looking to eliminate the combustion part of that balance. These buses were also ordered from New Flyer back in 2018, although the plan at the time had been to electrify 95% of the fleet with hybrid buses. While this target fell slightly short, the new initiative to fully eliminate emissions from the fleet will finish the job.

Initial acquisition of the buses, as well as fueling infrastructure, training aids, tools and equipment will cost SEPTA an initial sum of $17,051,216.

“Over the last two decades, SEPTA has led the transit industry in transitioning to hybrid buses, and that has resulted in a fleet that is cleaner and more efficient to operate,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “With this pilot program for fuel cell electric buses, we will similarly be on the cutting edge of zero-emission technology.”

New Flyer has been very active in North America lately, with four new electric us supply contracts signed in January alone,  covering Ohio, Wisconsin, Winnipeg and Pittsburgh. While most of the orders have been for battery-electric buses, California in particular seems interested in expanding their hydrogen fuel-cell bus fleets. Just before the state order, the city of San Francisco had also ordered a fleet of hydrogen buses.


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