Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) is committed to clean transportation and is developing a transition plan to reach zero emissions by 2040. As part of that plan, GCTD selected H2 fuel cell technology for its preferred zero emission fuel choice. In that effort, GCTD will host a demonstration of a H2 fuel cell bus on June 1st and 2nd. The bus, made by New Flyer, will be at GCTD’s operations and maintenance site to be test driven on several routes over those two days.
While GCTD’s zero-emission transition plan is still under development, GCTD must strategically decide which type of technology would work best under local operating conditions. There are two types of zero emission buses commercially available: battery electric vehicle buses, and H2 fuel cell electric buses. After thorough analysis of routes and terrain facilitated by project consultant Stantec, Inc., GCTD chose to pursue the H2 fuel cell electric bus due to its range capability and fueling process. A H2 fuel cell bus can travel up to 350 miles on a single refueling and requires no off-board electric recharging.
Unlike buses that run on fossil fuels, a H2 fuel cell electric bus is powered by two of earth's most basic components—oxygen and H2. H2 fuel cells produce electricity by combining H2 and oxygen atoms. The H2 reacts with oxygen across an electrochemical cell like that of a battery to produce electricity, water, and small amounts of heat. The electric current is used to power the batteries which ultimately power the buses.
“We are excited about the potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology and look forward to testing the bus for a few days to give our employees and passengers a glimpse into our zero-emission future,” said GCTD General Manager, Vanessa Rauschenberger.