October 24, 2023
The first hydrogen-powered transit buses are hitting the roads in Edmonton and Strathcona County, fueling a transition to more environmentally sustainable transit networks and driving growth for the hydrogen economy in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.
As announced at a State of the Province Hydrogen Luncheon, hosted by the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB, residents of Edmonton and Strathcona County will have the chance to ride these innovative and uniquely wrapped buses starting October 25. They are easily identified, as they are covered in a special blue and green vinyl inspired by hydrogen and water molecules. The design shows the progression of the hydrogen molecule separating. When that separation occurs, electricity is generated.
“I’m very excited to see our hydrogen bus out on routes throughout the city,” said Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “We know that transportation is one of the most impactful sectors that can transition to hydrogen, and this technology affirms our shared commitment to a prosperous and energy-sustainable region.”
"Hydrogen could well be a critical part of the future clean energy system," said Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank. "Our region has the infrastructure, resources, and know-how to power a hydrogen future. We are proud to be part of this collaborative effort on a journey which supports our environmental commitment, and we are excited to see the buses on the road in Strathcona County and Edmonton."
The hydrogen buses look similar to other city buses, however, the fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen to generate electricity and power the vehicles. The byproducts are heat and water, and there are zero emissions. The buses have been tested in both municipalities and they have performed well in the cold winter climate the region is known for. Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) provided $4.6 million in funding to the City and Strathcona County for purchasing and testing the two buses.
With these hydrogen-powered buses, the City and Strathcona County are moving to low-carbon energy and supporting development of the hydrogen economy in the Edmonton region. In tandem with the buses, the City is in the process of reviewing requests for proposals for a hydrogen fueling station, which will be able to meet the region’s growing demand for hydrogen energy. These milestones will help the region meet its climate resilience goals, including being net zero by 2050. The City also recently announced a pilot project with Diesel Tech Industries (DTI) that will see the engines of two City buses and two waste collection trucks modified to incorporate hydrogen as an additional fuel source.
The City’s long-term plans to advance the hydrogen economy include a new hydrogen-fitted transit garage, a transit and municipal fleet renewal with a focus on hydrogen vehicles and hydrogen-heated City buildings.