COLONIE, NY –  Albany International Airport and the Capital District Transportation Authority will join in a test program to try out cleaner-running hydrogen vehicles as part of their fleets. The $2 million project is expected to cover the cost of two vehicles for each agency, installation of a fueling station at the airport, and fuel, labor, and maintenance for two years, according to

The project is being underwritten by a $1.2 million contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which aims to test the feasibility and practicality of expanding the use of hydrogen vehicles through its Hydrogen Roadmap Program.

The airport will add two hydrogen-powered Chevrolet pickup trucks to its collection of alternative-fuel vehicles, which now include shuttle buses and pickup trucks powered with compressed natural gas.

CDTA will add two hydrogen-powered Toyota Prius cars to the fleet used by company employees. CDTA already has five hybrid-electric-powered Priuses and five hybrid-electric Ford Escapes in its pool fleet. CDTA’s bus fleet includes six hybrid diesel-electric buses, and the authority recently switched all of its diesel-powered buses to bio-diesel fuel, which includes soybean components. 

Officials at both the Albany County Airport Authority and CDTA said they could expand their use of hydrogen vehicles if the experiment goes well.

The airport’s new hydrogen-powered, four-wheel-drive Chevrolet Silverados are projected to have a fuel economy rating equivalent to 14 miles per gallon for city driving and 20 miles per gallon on highways. The hydrogen Prius is rated at 50 miles per kilogram, with 1 kilogram equaling about one liquid gallon. A gas hybrid gets about 50 miles per gallon, and a compact gasoline car would get about 30 miles per gallon.