Clean Fleet

Pioneers in fuel cell technology

SunLine remains a pioneer on the road toward zero-emission transportation. We are proud to be able to adopt innovative technology that supports a greener future. Toward this goal, SunLine is building a fleet entirely of hydrogen fuel cell buses. While the phrase “hydrogen fuel cell technology” can seem daunting, there are a lot of clear benefits that come with it. Let’s take a look.

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Hydrogen Fixed-Route Bus Fleet Today

11 El Dorado National 40’ Axess

11 El Dorado National 40’ Axess

15 New Flyer Xcelsior XHE40 40’ LF

5 New Flyer Xcelsior XHE40 40’ LF




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Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses?

Fuel Cell Buses produce zero emissions, require less maintenance costs, operate quietly, and can run at extreme temperatures, especially when compared to battery-powered alternatives. They also excel on long routes and routes with frequent service. Specifically, they can achieve up to 350 miles on a single charge. Not to mention, the time it takes to recharge a hydrogen fuel cell bus is comparable with natural gas fueling times.

These characteristics, and others, align with SunLine’s commitment to offering dependable and environmentally responsible transportation to the Coachella Valley.

How Do Hydrogen Fuel Cells Work?

To put it simply, SunLine Transit Agency uses the process of electrolysis to produce hydrogen. Once the hydrogen is made, hydrogen and oxygen enter the bus’s fuel cell, which conducts electricity to power the engine. The only byproduct is water.


What Makes SunLine a Pioneer in Hydrogen Technology?

In 2000, the cost of a hydrogen fuel cell bus was $2,000,000. In 2021, the cost is $1,150,000. As a pioneer in hydrogen fuel cell technology, SunLine has held an important role in making hydrogen more accessible for transportation in various sectors.

Additionally, our future power station will power not only our own fleet of buses but also hydrogen trucks and other hydrogen vehicles along the I-10. By offering this power station in such an ideal location, SunLine is helping push vehicle manufacturers and purchasers into a greener future.

We also offer a hydrogen training program to help other agencies achieve zero-emissions transportation through our West Coast Center of Excellence.

When Will SunLine Have a Full Fleet of Zero-Emissions Vehicles?

SunLine plans to have the fixed route fleet converted entirely to zero-emissions buses by 2035, five years ahead of state regulation requirements. The paratransit fleet will be entirely zero-emissions buses by 2032. This will make SunLine the first transit agency in the country to transition to 100% zero-emissions vehicles.

Our road to zero-emissions began in 1992, when the Board of Directors voted to move toward a 100% alternative fuel fleet. SunLine started with natural gas technology. By 2006, SunLine became the first agency to own and operate an H2 generation and dispensing station.

As SunLine continues to convert our entire fleet to hydrogen fuel cell technology, a mix of CNG, electric, and hydrogen fuel cell buses will be in operation. When riding the bus, look for “Hydrogen Fuel Cell” on the outside of the bus near the roofline to determine if you are riding one of our zero-emissions buses.