As part of the goal to achieve a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035, SunLine Transit Agency and the City of Indio have launched a pilot of liquid hydrogen gas (H2) pump technology and a mobile refuelling system.
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SunLine Transit Agency, along with local officials, gathered at its Indio facility on 20 January 2022 to celebrate the installation of a new liquid hydrogen pump that will allow the agency to fuel its fuel cell bus fleet with hydrogen. Several key officials who advocate for clean fuel technology, including Congressman Raul Ruiz CA-36, were in attendance.
Through a partnership with NICE America Research, liquid hydrogen gas (H2) pump technology and a mobile refuelling system is being piloted by SunLine Transit Agency to offer hydrogen stations in the form of a mobile trailer – allowing use without a permanent station structure.
“SunLine has been a pioneer in alternative fuels for the past three decades, and the liquid hydrogen pump commemorated today is just another example of the agency’s commitment to our community and our environment,” said Lauren Skiver, CEO and General Manager of SunLine Transit Agency. “It is scalable deployment strategies such as this that are pivotal in charting the Coachella Valley’s future development as a hydrogen corridor.”
The event also featured the unveiling of a bus wrapped with the GoHuman community engagement campaign, launched through a partnership between SunLine and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). A total of three hydrogen fuel cell buses are now sporting new bus wraps to promote the campaign, which is aimed at reducing traffic collisions and encouraging people to take advantage of alternative modes of transport.
Fuelling hydrogen cell buses at SunLine’s Indio facility is key to the agency’s operational goal of converting all vehicles to zero emissions by 2035 – five years ahead of the deadline set by state mandates. Just one fuel cell bus can save hundreds of tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, which is equivalent to taking 29 cars off the road or planting 5,600 trees.
“I fully support SunLine’s mission to achieve a zero-emission future, and today represents a great step forward in that goal,” said Congressman Raul Ruiz. “SunLine’s visionary leadership has put our region on the map for innovation in hydrogen fuel technology. Now, with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s bold investments in transportation, we will build on today’s success and cement the Coachella Valley as the hydrogen hub for the nation.”
With zero tailpipe emissions generated by a hydrogen fuel cell bus, transit services are delivered to the community that maintain a clean environment while continuing to get riders where they need to go.
Initiatives such as the NICE Submerged Liquid Hydrogen Pump project have allowed SunLine Transit Agency to become a testbed for hydrogen fuelling infrastructure, fuel cell technology development and commercial operation of fuel cell buses. As a pioneer of hydrogen technology in relation to fuelling zero-emission buses, SunLine Transit serves as a model for other transit agencies around the country.
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