Hydrogen buses revolutionise RTC SNV’s transit fleet

Posted: 22 August 2023 | | No comments yet

Southern Nevada’s RTC introduces the state’s first hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, delivering passengers an innovative and emission-free mode of travel, driving the region towards sustainable transportation solutions.

Hydrogen buses revolutionise RTC SNV's transit fleet

Credit: Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC SNV) has announced that it has welcomed two cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cell electric buses into its fleet. In addition to making its debut in Nevada, this pioneering technology also establishes the state’s first operational hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.

“I launched my Innovation State Initiative to bring new jobs to Nevada and promote emerging clean energy technologies just like these new hydrogen fuel cell electric buses,” said U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “These buses are easier to maintain, quieter and help us combat climate change. I was proud to work with RTC Southern Nevada to help secure funding to get these new buses on the streets.”

The advancement of these buses has been made possible through a $3.8-million Low or No Emission Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). This grant not only facilitated the acquisition of the technologically advanced buses but also allocated funds for training staff to adeptly manage and operate this new technology.

“As Southern Nevada steers towards a greener future, embracing sustainable transportation options is a responsible environmental choice that drives our community forward,” said RTC Chair and Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones. “By investing in sustainable technology, we’re creating green-collar jobs that benefit both our environment and our economy.”

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The heart of these new fuel cell buses lies in their power source – compressed hydrogen gas. Through an electrochemical process, the fuel cell ingeniously combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, leaving only water as a by-product. The buses are also silent when idle or in motion and can be re-fuelled in under 15 minutes, boasting extended operational periods, seamlessly supporting RTC SNV’s existing routes.

RTC SNV CEO MJ Maynard said: “We are extremely grateful to our federal delegation for securing funding for these two hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. We have long committed to investment in innovative transit technology to reduce our emissions footprint here in Southern Nevada. This technology, which is new to Southern Nevada, helps address our sustainability goal, including moving toward a zero-emissions fleet.”

Furthermore, an additional seven 60-foot hydrogen fuel cell buses are set to join Southern Nevada’s transit scene in Autumn 2024.