SARTA’s hydrogen powered bus, known as the blue bus, has set foot in Washington D.C.

The blue bus, one of 60 in use by public transit agencies in the US, is powered by a chemical process that transforms hydrogen and oxygen into electrons and water.

Kirt Conrad, Chief Executive of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), took the hydrogen-powered bus to Washington to promote the vehicles as an alternative to diesel buses.

The roadshow – funded in part by the federal government and the Toyota Mobility Foundation – was intended to promote a market for vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, especially for public transport.

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Source: SARTA

The bus, wrapped in a blue bubble, costs about $1.2m, roughly twice of what a diesel bus would cost, but will get about twice the mileage, Conrad noted.

SARTA pays about $4.60 per kilogram of compressed hydrogen which produces about the equivalent amount of energy as a gallon of diesel fuel. Conrad said he hopes as the idea of using hydrogen fuel cells catches on, the pricing should become even more competitive.

SARTA, which received more than $4m from the Federal Transit Administration in 2016, will have 18 buses on the road by the end of the year, including the first hydrogen-powered paratransit buses.

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