Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB) Evaluations in US Public Transit Service

Matthew Post

Research output: NRELPresentation


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency. NREL has evaluated alternative fuel and advanced propulsion transit buses for DOE and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA). These evaluations are focused on determining the status of fuel cell systems and the corresponding infrastructure in transit applications to help DOE and FTA assess the progress toward technology readiness. For the last 19 years NREL has evaluated FCEBs in service around the United States and in Canada. The results of these evaluations have been published in numerous reports that compare FCEB performance to conventional technology as well as document the implementation experience and lessons learned by the transit agencies and their demonstration teams. Currently, 70 fuel cell buses are in active service in the US and 66 FCEBs are in development. NREL is evaluating a subset of the active FCEBs that includes three transit agencies demonstrating 25 fuel cell electric buses in California. One bus has exceeded 35,000 hours in service and 12 have exceeded 25,000 hours. Fuel economy for the current generation of FCEBs has improved 35% over the previous generation and is double that of conventional buses. Maintenance cost for FCEBs is equivalent to diesel and BEBs. The most up-to-date performance results will be presented, including fuel economy, availability, reliability, and operational costs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2023 SAE World Congress Experience (WCX), 18-20 April 2023, Detroit, Michigan

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5700-85623


  • bus
  • evaluation
  • FCEB
  • hydrogen
  • transit


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