Champaign-Urbana MTD Purchases Two Hydrogen Buses

by Molly Burgess, author, H2-View,

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD), the public transportation provider in the Champaign, Urbana and Savoy regions of Illinois, has ordered two hydrogen fuel cell buses from New Flyer of America.

The contract calls for New Flyer to supply two hydrogen fuel cell electric sixty foot Xcelsior CHARGE H2™ heavy duty transit buses. The Xcelsior CHARGE H2™ bus is a battery electric vehicle that uses compressed hydrogen as an energy source, along with Ballard Power Systems fuel cell technology.

MTD is now the first transportation provider in the nation to commercially order sixty-foot, hydrogen fuel cell buses. Since 1993, New Flyer has delivered 175 buses to MTD, and today its fleet is 85% hybrid.

“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 of 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 suitable transit. Today we celebrate another accomplishment in the long-standing partnership that is pioneering a zero emission future powered by fuel cell electric propulsion.”

The purchase, supported by the Centre for Transportation and the Environment, supports 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.

“We’re proud to reply 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 or future with zero emission Xcelsior CHARGE H2™ buses will bring cleaner air, quiet transportation, and healthier environments to our community.”