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MTD unveiled it’s first zero emission buses today

Today at the MTD Maintenance Facility in Urbana, national, state, and local leaders and industry partners gathered for the unveiling of the brand new zero emission fleet technology. An on-site hydrogen production station, powered by solar panels, will fuel 60 foot hydrogen fuel cell buses. These will be the nation’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, emitting only water vapor into the air.

A close up of the inner workings of a hydrogen fuel cell bus. There are various tubes and pipes twisted around each other, and they are all very clean. Photo by Julie McClure.Inner workings of the new hydrogen fuel cell bus. Photo by Julie McClure.

Inner workings of a regular MTD buses. A different configuration of pipes and tubes, and there is a dirty film over everything. Photo by Julie McClure.Inner workings of a regular MTD bus. Photo by Julie McClure.

Senator Dick Durbin and Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez spoke, as well as Congressman Rodney Davis, Illinois Secretary of Transportation Omer Osman, and industry partners that made this technology possible. Some important notes about the hydrogen buses, per MTD:

The hydrogen fuel cell electric buses save over 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel per bus each year, and one bus reduces greenhouse gases up to 135 tons annually. MTD’s truly zero emission fleet will operate alongside diesel electric hybrid buses, currently 97% of the 114 bus fleet, but will be 100% low or no emission in 2022.

Hydrogen fuel cell electric buses bring the power of zero emissions without the stagnancy of recharging. Hydrogen fueling takes no more time than conventional diesel fueling, which enables flexible route and service designs. Hydrogen is non-toxic and is 14 times lighter than air. With rooftop hydrogen fuel tank storage, an unplanned release rises safely in the air at 45 miles per hour, rather than pooling on the ground. MTD’s zero emission, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles present a reliable solution for a brighter, cleaner tomorrow.

Hydrogen fueling station. Photo by Julie McClure.

You can read more about the project here.

Top photo by Julie McClure.

Staff writer

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