CUTRIC playing central role in groundbreaking hydrogen transit study
CUTRIC’s RoutΣ.i™ simulation platform helps Mississauga transit agency become first in Canada to conduct full-fleet analysis of hydrogen fuel cell bus technologies for immediate deployment
Dec. 3, 2020, Mississauga, Ontario – The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) is proud to join the City of Mississauga in announcing a groundbreaking feasibility study of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs). This study will use CUTRIC’s industry-leading RoutΣ.i™ physics-based simulation tool to accurately predict the performance,operational costs and savings associated with FCEBs as part of a phased transition to full electrification at MiWay, the public transit agency for Canada’s sixth-largest city.
Supported by $45,000 from the City of Mississauga and more than $100,000 from CUTRIC’s research funds, this project will be the most extensive of its kind in Canada, and will make MiWay the first transit agency in the country to conduct a full-fleet analysis of FCEB technologies for deployment in the near future.
By enabling Mississauga to evaluate electrification options for its bus fleet, the study will explore benefits that extend beyond operational savings. Whether generated by clean energy from Ontario’s electrical grid or by steam methane reformation from provincial suppliers, hydrogen’s use as a propulsion fuel will produce environmental and economic benefits including job creation and retention in the green technology sector, and will further the city’s Climate Change Action Plan goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
“The City of Mississauga is a leader in innovation, and Mayor Bonnie Crombie is clearly dedicated to making her community a champion of new green jobs for future generations,” said CUTRIC President and CEO Josipa Petrunic. “The timing for this study is perfect given the federal government’s focus on electric and zero-emission vehicle deployments to combat climate change, and given Ontario’s interest in pursuing a hydrogen strategy this year. By working with this innovative and forward-thinking municipality and region, we are removing the barriers of uncertainty and high risk associated with the adoption of electrified propulsion technologies. We’ll be able to help get quiet, enviro-friendly zero-emissions buses out on the roads in one of the most vibrant parts of this country, and show that Canadians can lead in hydrogen bus innovation for a worldwide marketplace.”
Developed and maintained by CUTRIC’s specialist team of geographic information system (GIS) analysts, mathematicians, physicists, engineers and interdisciplinary project managers, RoutΣ.i™ predicts FCEB vehicle and fleet range based on parameters such as fueling time, ridership levels, stopping and starting due to traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, total energy needs and costs, carbon dioxide reductions, and fleet scheduling needs.
Following the Phase 1 feasibility study, MiWay’s Phase 2 goal is to secure funding for 10 FCEBs. Building on the city’s recent acquisition of 10 hybrid-electric buses, these FCEBs would overcome range, route flexibility and electric infrastructure challenges by using hybrid battery-fuel cell power trains. The fuel cell systems act as onboard battery chargers, using hydrogen as an energy source that stores twice the power of a standard bus battery at a fraction of the weight. The fuel cells provide electricity to batteries and motors onboard and maintain bus batteries at optimum charging levels throughout the day.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with CUTRIC on this ground-breaking pilot, which will bring us one step closer to greening our fleet,” said MiWay Director Geoff Marinoff. “Participating in this pilot project will help us learn how hydrogen fuel-cell electric bus technology will operate in MiWay’s fleet, particularly with the winter climate conditions. This pilot is important and necessary to examine the feasibility of introducing this low-carbon technology into our fleet. It will also help us make sound decisions for our fleet in the future.”
CUTRIC is a non-profit innovation consortium with a vision to make Canada a global leader in low-carbon smart mobility. Through industry-led collaborative research and large-scale technology integration trials, CUTRIC is working to achieve this goal by focusing on technology development, integration and standardization of low-carbon propulsion systems and smart vehicle systems, data-driven analytics in mobility, and cybersecurity in transportation.
MiWay is committed to providing customer-driven, high quality public transit services that are safe, reliable, clean and cost effective. As Ontario’s third largest municipal public transit system, MiWay has more than 950 Transit Operators, 500 fully accessible buses, 80 bus routes and 3,400 bus stops across the City.