The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is expanding its commitment to e-mobility by buying seven new zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-to-electric buses from New Flyer of America, a subsidiary of bus manufacturer NFI Group.
The Xcelsior CHARGE FC 60-foot heavy-duty transit buses are part of a long-term commitment between RTC of Southern Nevada and NFI. The regional entity has made three zero-emission acquisitions with NFI and has the option to purchase up to 100 buses over the duration of a five-year contract.
Fuel cell drivetrains use an electrochemical process that converts a fuel such as natural gas or hydrogen (which is carbon free) into electrical power. Some fleet owners see hydrogen as a better fit than battery electric because of longer ranges and shorter refueling times, according to reports.
RTC oversees public transportation, traffic management, and roadway design and construction funding for Southern Nevada. RTC’s public transit system delivers over 64 million annual passenger rides in the greater Las Vegas Valley.
“Our advanced fuel cell-electric buses will provide the Las Vegas Valley community with a fully zero-emission mobility solution for a more sustainable future,” Chris Stoddart, president of North American Bus and Coach at NFL, said in a statement.
Mass transit authorities such as Rochester (NY) Transport Authority, as well as German firms Rebus and Regionalverkehr Köln, are investing in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as well as battery electric in an effort to decarbonize their part of the transportation sector.
In the U.S., the transporation sector--including commercial and passenger-- accounts for almost 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.