Champaign-Urbana Unveils America’s First 100% Renewable Hydrogen Fleet With New Flyer Xcelsior Buses

By October 14, 2021 5   min read  (835 words)

October 14, 2021 |

Fuel Cells Works, Champaign-Urbana Unveils America’s First 100% Renewable Hydrogen Fleet With New Flyer Xcelsior Buses
  • MTD’s first-of-its-kind project powered with two New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE H2™ zero-emission,  sixty-foot articulated buses

St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA: (TSX: NFI, OTC: NFYEF) NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”),  a leading independent global bus and coach manufacturer and a leader in mass mobility solutions,  today congratulated the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (“MTD”) on the unveiling of its first in-America renewable transportation project.

MTD’s “Riding on Sunshine” project will see the  deployment of zero-emission, fuel cell-electric Xcelsior CHARGE H2™ buses from NFI subsidiary  New Flyer of America Inc. (“New Flyer”), refueled with a 100% renewable hydrogen supply powered  by solar energy.  

MTD is the public transportation provider in the cities of Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy regions  of Illinois, delivering nearly 10 million rides annually through a full range of mobility services.  

The unveiling occurred today at MTD’s maintenance facility in Urbana, Illinois, where MTD revealed its project capturing the most abundant element in the universe – hydrogen – alongside the most  abundant energy resource on Earth – solar power. MTD celebrated the milestone alongside Federal  Transit Administration (“FTA”) Administrator Nuria Fernandez, American Public Transportation  Association (“APTA”) President Paul Skoutelas, Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Rodney Davis,  Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman, and NFI President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul  Soubry.  

“The evolution to green mobility begins with forward-thinking transit agencies like MTD,” said Paul  Soubry. “Since 1993, NFI has delivered nearly 200 buses to MTD, and is pleased to now provide  New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE H2 fuel cell-electric buses in support of MTD’s transition to zero emission. We’re excited to have been selected to support MTD’s game changing deployment of  hydrogen technology, that also incorporates solar power for a truly sustainable outcome.” 

Driven by a mission of leading the way to greater mobility, MTD was the first in the United States to  commercially order sixty-foot zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell buses. MTD’s purchases were  supported by the FTA and the Center for Transportation and the Environment.  

“MTD has always been forward thinking, and this project puts MTD right out on the cutting edge,”  said Karl Gnadt, Managing Director / CEO, MTD. “We invite members of the public and the industries  of transportation and energy to learn about our project and celebrate this advancement in climate  resiliency.” 

The Xcelsior CHARGE H2™ is a battery-electric vehicle using compressed hydrogen as an energy  source and range extender, requiring only 6-20 minutes to refuel. Fuel cell-electric technology is fully  zero-emission and an innovative way to obtain extended-range operation similar to existing transit  vehicles. Built on New Flyer’s proven Xcelsior® platform, the Xcelsior CHARGE H2can save 85 to  135 tons of greenhouse gas per year from tailpipe emissions compared to a diesel bus. For more  information, visit

NFI is a leader in zero-emission mobility, with electric vehicles operating (or on order) in more than  80 cities in five countries. NFI offers the widest range of zero-emission battery and fuel cell-electric  buses and coaches, and the Company’s vehicles have completed over 40 million EV service miles.  Today, NFI supports growing North American cities with scalable, clean, and sustainable mobility  solutions through a four-pillar approach that includes buses and coaches, technology,  infrastructure, and workforce development. NFI also operates the Vehicle Innovation Center  (“VIC”), the first and only innovation lab of its kind dedicated to advancing bus and coach  technology and providing workforce development. Since opening late 2017, the VIC has hosted  over 300 interactive events, welcoming 4,000 industry professionals for EV and infrastructure  training. 

About NFI 

Leveraging 450 years of combined experience, NFI is leading the electrification of mass mobility  around the world. With zero-emission buses and coaches, infrastructure, and technology, NFI meets  today’s urban demands for scalable smart mobility solutions. Together, NFI is enabling more livable  cities through connected, clean, and sustainable transportation. 

With 8,000 team members in nine countries, NFI is a leading global bus manufacturer of mass  mobility solutions under the brands New Flyer®(heavy-duty transit buses), MCI®(motor coaches),  Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), ARBOC®(low floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI currently offers the widest range of  sustainable drive systems available, including zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell),  natural gas, electric hybrid, and clean diesel. In total, NFI supports its installed base of over 105,000  buses and coaches around the world. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock  Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information is available  at,,,,, and

About New Flyer 

New Flyer is North America’s heavy-duty transit bus leader and offers the most advanced product  line under the Xcelsior® and Xcelsior CHARGE® brands. It also offers infrastructure development  through New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions™, a service dedicated to providing safe, sustainable, and  reliable charging and mobility solutions. New Flyer actively supports over 35,000 heavy-duty transit  buses (New Flyer, NABI, and Orion) currently in service, of which 8,600 are powered by electric  motors and battery propulsion and 1,900 are zero-emission. Further information is available  at


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