The City is exploring new sustainable transportation technology by purchasing and testing new bus technology, powered by hydrogen, through the Alberta Zero Emission Hydrogen Transit (AZEHT) initiative. This initiative involves testing two hydrogen buses in real world conditions in Alberta; one hydrogen bus has been added to the Edmonton Transit Service fleet and one has been added to the Strathcona County fleet. Both buses will be in service starting October 25, 2023. For more information about the Strathcona County hydrogen fuel cell electric bus pilot, visit Strathcona County Hydrogen Bus Pilot. AZEHT has been approved for funding of up to $4.6 million through Emissions Reduction Alberta’s Shovel-Ready Challenge.
Adding a clean-running hydrogen bus to the City's fleet supports our climate resilience goals, improves the rider experience, and lowers the City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The City of Edmonton is committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2040. Projects like hydrogen fuel buses will help us on the path to reaching that target. The City’s hydrogen bus is uniquely wrapped in a special blue and green vinyl inspired by hydrogen and water molecules.
Key Facts: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Bus
Hydrogen fuel cell buses are environmentally friendly, quiet and efficient.
The buses produce no exhaust-pipe emissions and are classed as zero-emission capable.
The buses will rely on hydrogen produced in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.
Hydrogen fuel cell buses have a travel range of up to 480 kilometres.
The fuel cell uses hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity that powers the bus. The byproducts of the chemical reaction are heat and water. We recover the heat for heating the bus, and water comes out of the exhaust pipe of the bus.
The City of Edmonton will be the first in Canada to run both hydrogen fuel cell electric buses and battery electric buses.
The City of Edmonton and Strathcona County will have the first hydrogen maintenance facility in Alberta.
During the bus testing project, the City and Strathcona County will use the first hydrogen vehicle fueling station in Alberta, which is a collaboration between Suncor and the Alberta Motor Transport Association.
Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) continues to be at the forefront of innovative transportation, and is the first city in Canada to run both hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric buses. ETS has 60 electric buses in its fleet and remains highly committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing more sustainable transportation and improving the rider experience.
ETS is also the first transit agency in North America to have overhead chargers inside transit facilities. Charging from above, rather than using floor-mounted plug-in chargers, greatly reduces the amount of floor space needed for charging. The buses take roughly one to four hours to recharge, depending on the level of charge when they return to the garage.
Electric buses are housed at the Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage in northeast Edmonton and Centennial Garage. Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage is the main hub for electric buses.
Funding through Emissions Reduction Alberta
In 2019, ETS, in partnership with energy storage firm eCAMION and the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, were selected as one of 16 winners for funding through Emissions Reduction Alberta's (ERA) 'BEST' Challenge for clean technology projects across Alberta.
This funding (about $9 million total) will contribute to important research and development for energy storage for ETS' electric bus program at Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage.