The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the public body responsible for public transportation in the New York City metropolitan area will pilot hydrogen-powered buses in the Bronx after winning an $8 million grant, in hopes to determine if they are a viable alternative to electric batteries for eliminating CO2 emissions from its 6,000 vehicle fleet.
The grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), awarded as part of its Electric Truck & Bus Challenge, will go towards two hydrogen-powered buses intended to serve eight routes in the northeast and central Bronx. The funds will also be used for a hydrogen-fuelling station which can power 40 buses at the MTA’s Gun Hill depot. The size of the fuelling station would enable the MTA to scale up hydrogen operations if the pilot is successful.
Two Xcelsior CHARGE H2 buses will be purchased from Canadian manufacturer New Flyer. The buses boast a range of over 300 miles per charge from hydrogen mainly derived from clean hydropower. They’re expected to be deployed by 2024.
“Today’s award is a historic moment for New York City Transit, as we prepare to deploy the first-ever hydrogen fuel cell buses at the MTA and in all of New York State,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey in a statement.
“As the MTA boldly moves towards a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, demonstrating that hydrogen is a feasible and effective complement to our existing and future battery-electric fleet is a crucial next step. This grant will help us successfully showcase the role hydrogen fuel-cell buses have in the MTA’s zero-emission future.”