Hexagon Composites and New Flyer shaping the hydrogen bus market in North America

By Joanna Sampson 2 November 2018

 North America’s largest transit bus maker, New Flyer of America and New Flyer Canada, has ordered high-pressure hydrogen (H2) tanks from Hexagon Composites to be used on 25 of its groundbreaking Xcelsior® H2 fuel cell (or fuel cell-electric) transit buses.

“New Flyer and Hexagon have been breaking new ground in alternative fuel use since 1993,” said Rick Rashilla, Senior Vice-President of Hydrogen Automotive for Hexagon Composites Group.

“Pressure containment technology is the foundation of our company. We are pleased to combine the attributes of our current H2 tanks with the successful reliability of the compressed natural gas tanks used by New Flyer today.”

The new H2 tanks, which rely upon Hexagon’s internally developed technology, will be used to store compressed zero-emission H2 gas as an alternative to natural gas and diesel fuel.

The high-pressure tanks have successfully completed requirements for North American and European standards.

This tank joins a global product line of long length H2 tanks for the medium and heavy-duty fuel cell vehicle market. The products store H2 at 350 bar and 700 bar to feed the fuel cell that provides electrical power to the drivetrain and accessories.

Rod Neustaedter, Vice-President of Supply Management at New Flyer, added, “New Flyer is a zero-emission pioneer with over 50 years’ experience manufacturing electric transit buses. The adoption of fuel cell technology is a natural progression for us, and fuel cell-electric buses are an essential technology for driving the future of public transit in North America.”

“As communities increasingly adopt zero-emission, sustainable transportation, New Flyer will proudly support healthier cities with fuel cell-electric transit buses with H2 from Hexagon.”

The high-pressure H2 cylinders have been delivered to New Flyer. The Xcelsior transit buses, which will operate in the state of California, US, are currently being manufactured at New Flyer’s facility in Anniston, Alabama.