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For Immediate Release
October 2, 2009

Office of the Premier
Government of Canada
BC Transit





VANCOUVER – Premier Gordon Campbell and Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Stockwell Day celebrated the arrival of the first bus of what will become the world’s largest single hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet today in Vancouver.


            “The arrival of “Bus 1” of the hydrogen fuel cell bus is a major step forward as we work to build a Hydrogen Highway that stretches from Whistler to Victoria and beyond,” said Premier Campbell.  “This fleet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,800 tonnes per year in B.C. and – when the world comes to our province in 2010 – it will showcase British Columbia’s expertise in cutting-edge hydrogen and fuel cell technology to the world.”


“Our government is proud that our country's first hydrogen fuel cell bus is being unveiled today, to be used during the 2010 Olympics,” said Minister Day.  “By investing in the development of green buses and refueling stations, we are creating jobs today and also ensuring that British Columbia is a world leader in hydrogen fuel cell technology.”


           The 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses will be in operation as part of the BC Transit fleet in Whistler during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and beyond.  It will be the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet operating in a single location. 


            “The introduction of this new bus represents a major milestone for BC Transit. Not only is it the first hydrogen bus, but it’s also the thousandth bus within our fleet,” said BC Transit president and CEO Manuel Achadinha. “This bus, along with the other 19, represents our ongoing commitment to investing in greener technologies.” 


            Total funding for the hydrogen fuel cell bus project, covering capital and operating costs to March 2014, is $89.5 million.  $45 million is from the Government of Canada and $44.5 million is from the Province and BC Transit.


            The development of a hydrogen bus fleet is part of B.C.’s commitment to fuel cell technologies and the Hydrogen Highway as part of the overall plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. The Hydrogen Highway is a government-industry initiative seeking to accelerate the demonstration and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies from British Columbia to California. For more information on the Hydrogen Highway, go to:


            The new buses produce no smog-creating emissions and no greenhouse gases at the tailpipe.  Hydrogen is combined with oxygen in the fuel cell to electrochemically produce electricity.  Heat and water are the only by-products.  Operating 20 fuel cell buses over one year will eliminate more than 1800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to a diesel fleet of the same number of buses.


            By 2020, the $14 billion Provincial Transit Plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.7 million tonnes cumulatively and double transit ridership to more than 400 million trips per year.















·         BC Transit’s hydrogen fuel cell buses will begin regular revenue service in Whistler in November.


·         The hydrogen fuelling station – which is both a new transit depot and a fuelling depot – is under construction in Whistler and scheduled to begin operations in November.


·         The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate for the first time the integration of hydrogen fuel cell buses into the regular service of an urban transit system, and to monitor the fleet’s operations, maintenance and fuelling over a sustained period.


·         Lifecycle costs for the fuel cell buses will be evaluated over the next few years to determine how they compare to current internal combustion engine technology.


·         The outcome of this demonstration project will determine if hydrogen fuel cell buses could be put into service in other communities.


·         The low-floor buses will have a range of 450 to 500 kilometres before refuelling and a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour.


·         Hydrogen fuel cell buses are more energy efficient than conventional internal combustion buses; can be fuelled by hydrogen produced by many methods, including renewable fuel sources such as hydro-electric power; and provide a quieter, smoother ride than conventional buses.







Bridgitte Anderson

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 307-7177



Dave Crebo

Communications Director

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

250 387-7787

Chris Day

Press Secretary

Office of Canada’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure

613 991-0700


Joanna Morton

Media Relations Manager

BC Transit

250 995-5720



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