Integrated Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Systems Analysis: Route Optimization, Fuel Consumption, Powertrain Performance, and Economic Feasibility Analysis & Techno-Economic Predictive Analysis

In this project, an integrated vehicle system analyses of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) (transit buses) will be conducted. There are module specific, independent, third party principal applicants involved in this project to ensure neutrality of the research and accounting procedures. The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) will serve as the principal applicant for Module 1, 2, 6 and 7; the academic/research stakeholders (York University, Centennial College and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories) will serve as the principal applicants for the academic module (Module 3); the CUTRIC consortium will serve as the principal applicant for Module 4; and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution (NMTPD) will serve as the principal applicant for Module 5.

In Module 1, OSPE entrusts the consortium to utilize its own in-house capacities in modelling to study route optimization, powertrain performance and conduct economic feasibility analysis and techno-economic predictive analysis. OSPE will oversee the consortium’s work in Module 2, wherein the consortium will be doing program management and in situ/empirical data analysis of vehicles on the road and fuelling systems. In Module 3, the academic stakeholders will be conducting an in-depth analysis with respect to hydrogen systems design and integration with bus transit operations and evaluate the existing codes and standards for medium and heavy duty applications, consider optimization of H2 cost reduction techniques for transit agencies and will also study the increasing significance of hydrogen as an integrated energy storage and fuelling resource. CUTRIC will be investigating the potential of alternate propulsion, specifically hydrogen, in the rail sector in Module 4 to inform Transport Canada of the potential innovation and emission elimination opportunities that exist.

In Module 5, NMTPD attempts to understand the potential merits and demerits of utilizing electricity as a direct propulsion tool by its use in overhead chargers powering battery electric buses and as an indirect tool producing hydrogen from water  that not only propels buses, but can also serve as an energy storage medium. In Module 6, OSPE entrusts the consortium to conduct a nationwide study on the representation of women in STEM and analyse the role and level of involvement that women have as leaders in the technology innovation and transportation sector. In Module 7, OSPE envisions that the consortium will utilize its strong knowledge, expertise, and knowledge dissemination prowess in designing and delivering multiple professional development modules/courses that enable the advancement of professional knowledge and skills in technology, innovation, transportation, and management, among others.

The main deliverables expected out of this project (170056b) are as follows:

  1. Project charter and business case for 170056b
  2. Completely developed Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB) modelling algorithm
  3. A comprehensive literature review of the global FCEB innovations and key findings from the consortium-led project development meetings
  4. A federal or provincial funding application to fund a large-scale demonstration and deployment of FCEBs
  5. Training multiple highly qualified personnel (HQPs)
  6. Report on analyses of data collected from on road vehicle deployments
  7. Comparative analysis findings report on validated modelling outputs based on data collected
  8. A detailed analyses-based report of women representation in STEM and technology innovation and transportation
  9. Multiple course modules with professional development unit (PDU) embedded

Module 1 relates to Pillar One in CUTRIC’s Pillars of Innovation: “Low and Zero Emissions.” To achieve the successful demonstration and integration of novel FCEBs, transit agencies and fleets in general require access to robust predictive modelling. Module 1 incorporates critical and auxiliary vehicle power train parameters and fuelling specifications to produce highly accurate modelling outputs that calculate the energy requirement for each FCEB per route, per passenger, and per kilometre of service area; the modelling tool, TRiPSIM©, also calculates the FCEBs specific state of charge (SOC), battery degradation and auxiliary load as it performs its daily service. TRiPSIM© also offers transit agency partners the ability to accurately estimate the price of electricity, the time to charge up, the uptime/downtime of the FCEBs and the CO2E reduced in each route run. The modelling tool is validated regularly by manufacturing partners in the project to ensure the consortium’s research team is integrating the most up-to date data inputs and that the research team is not making erroneous assumptions about unit design or performance. These design choices will be further validated by the real-time data.

Module 2 relates Pillar One and Two  in CUTRIC’s Pillars of Innovation: “Low and Zero Emissions” and “Big Data in Mobility”. This module focuses on collecting data from loggers installed in FCEBs. The loggers will provide real-time streamed data points in raw data form that can be assessed to determine the operation performance of FCEBs that constitute part of the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial: Phase I. In addition, the Module establishes a national Program Management framework for the on-road Trial; a framework that can be replicated elsewhere over time to ensure the effective and meaningful sharing of relevant and critical data sources across e-vehicle deployments among and within public fleets (and potentially private fleets in heavy-duty vehicles in the future).

Key tasks associated with the Program Management portion of this Module include i) finalizing a Project Steering Committee Charter and governance structure; ii) defining roles and responsibilities for each partner; iii) establishing an IP and data sharing framework to securely share proprietary outcomes from the in-trial analysis; iv) establishing a risk registry; v) collecting and analyzing operational data from FCEBs in real-time. This module will develop a new cloud-based data analytics sharing platform for OEMs and transit systems to share real-time data analyses and error reporting from vehicles and charging units on the road. The effective use of this data collection and sharing tool will support Canada’s national shift towards electrification across all heavy-duty vehicles in the future, i.e. trucks and coaches. The data collected will be used to validate the modelling outputs from Module 1 and to conduct a comparative analysis on the predicted vs real values.

Module 3 relates to multiple CUTRIC Pillars of Innovation, including Pillar One: “Low and Zero Emissions”, and Pillar Two: “Big Data in Mobility”. Module 3 is comprised of several independent academic research teams and projects; each of which support one aspect of  FCEB  optimization  or integration identified as critical by OEM partners and transit agency partners in this project. Research teams at these institutions will assess different aspects of FCEB deployments and fuelling infrastructure identified as critical for long-term innovation by the consortium partners. These include:

  1. Needs and Gap Analysis: Canadian Standards for Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Vehicles, Fuelling and Storage and investigating the tools for effective navigation of policy level red tape to make hydrogen technology integration feasible in Canada
  2. Optimization of H2 Cost Reduction Techniques for Transit Agencies in Ontario that would make hydrogen technology more attractive for transit agencies who wish to take the path
  3. Distributed Hydrogen Generation – Integration Strategy that could make an economic business case for bringing fragmented hydrogen generation programs in Ontario to support the creation of a larger and more robust opportunity for innovation

Modules 4 and 5 relate to “Zero & Low Emissions” pillar as they attempt to bring low-carbon propulsion based technological innovation to the rail sector and to transit fleets. Additionally, calculating the possible value of providing electricity as the fuel to produce hydrogen for fuel cell buses through an electrolyzer if it were set up in the region which is being served by Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution is a key aspect that is being studied in this module.

Modules 6 and 7 are allied to the  work that  gets performed under the  “Zero & Low Emissions” pillar as it attempts to quantify and qualify the role of female leaders and enhance the potential for knowledge dissemination through PDU based course module development.

Project Partners:



Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) St. Clair College York University Centennial College Red River College